NEW YORK — President-elect Donald Trump has announced his selection of Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland to serve as Deputy National Security Advisor and Donald McGahn to serve as Assistant to the President and White House Counsel.
McFarland is among the nation’s leading national security experts and is currently serving as FOX News’ national security analyst.
“I am proud that KT has once again decided to serve our country and join my national security team,” said President-elect Trump. “She has tremendous experience and innate talent that will complement the fantastic team we are assembling, which is crucial because nothing is more important than keeping our people safe.”
“The American people chose Donald J. Trump to lead them for a reason,” said Ms. McFarland. “He has the courage, brilliance and energy to Make America Great Again, and nobody has called foreign policy right more than President-elect Trump, and he gets no credit for it. I’m honored and humbled that he has asked me to be part of his team.”
“As a friend and colleague, I’ve watched KT’s depth of knowledge and understanding grow from her days as a college student on Dr. Kissinger’s White House staff to her work at the Pentagon during the Reagan Administration, to become one of our country’s most insightful national security analysts,” said Hon. Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane, President Reagan’s National Security Advisor.
Ms. McFarland held national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan Administrations: as an aide to Dr. Henry Kissinger, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee staff senior speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and later Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.
In 1985, Ms. McFarland received the Defense Department’s highest civilian honor, the Distinguished Service Award, for her work in the Reagan Administration. She ran for New York’s U.S. Senate seat in 2006. The Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute named her Woman of the Year at the CPAC conference in 2015.
Ms. McFarland received a B.A. from George Washington University, a M.A. from Oxford University, and completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD program (all but dissertation) with concentrations on nuclear weapons, China, and the Soviet Union. Ms. McFarland is a senior policy fellow for the ACU Foundation Statesmanship and Diplomacy Center, a board member of the Jamestown Foundation, and a distinguished advisor to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
President-elect Trump also named Donald McGahn as Assistant to the President and White House Counsel.
Mr. McGahn has a distinguished legal career that spans two decades. Mr. McGahn served as general counsel for President-elect Trump’s campaign and currently on transition and will continue providing expert advice and counsel in the Trump-Pence Administration.
“Don has a brilliant legal mind, excellent character and a deep understanding of constitutional law,” said President-elect Trump. “He will play a critical role in our administration, and I am grateful that he is willing to serve our country at such a high-level capacity.”
“I am honored to continue advising President-elect Trump in the Trump-Pence Administration,” said Mr. McGahn. “President-elect Trump is a bold leader committed to draining the swamp in Washington and restoring economic prosperity and security. I look forward to serving the American public in this role.”
“Donald McGahn will make an excellent counsel to the president,” said Ed Meese, former Attorney General and Counselor to President Ronald Reagan. “Throughout his distinguished career as a lawyer and government official, he has dealt ably with the intersection between politics, government ethics, and the rule of law.”
“The Counsel to the President needs solid Washington experience, but also a serious prior relationship with the President that allows for candor, and a practical understanding of how government agencies function. It also is enormously useful to have a working knowledge of government ethics and election law. Donald McGahn possesses all these attributes and can serve President-elect Trump well,” said C. Boyden Gray, White House Counsel to President George H.W. Bush.
Mr. McGahn is currently a partner at Jones Day in Washington, DC, and has specialized in political law, including government ethics. He has successfully counseled and defended a wide range of clients including federal and state candidates, members of Congress, national and state political party committees, nonprofits and trade associations.
Mr. McGahn served as a member of the FEC five years, during which he served as both chairman and vice chairman. He was named to the 2014 “Influencers 50” list in Campaigns & Electionsmagazine (November 18, 2013), and cited as “one of the most influential commissioners in the history of the FEC” and one with strong relationships on both sides of the aisle.
In addition, he served as general counsel for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) for nearly 10 years, where he counseled members of Congress regarding ethics.
Mr. McGahn earned a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from Widener University.