Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a presidential rival-turned-supporter, has been nominated to serve as President-elect Donald Trump’s head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Trump said on Monday.
“Dr. Carson is a distinguished national leader who overcame his troubled youth in the inner city of Detroit to become a renowned neurosurgeon who served as the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland,” Trump’s transition team said in a statement announcing the nomination.
Carson, who like Trump has never held public office and has no government experience, recently said he was not interested in serving in Trump’s administration because he lacked experience in the federal government.
However, in accepting the appointment, Carson said, “I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need.”
“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Trump said in the statement.
Carson, 65, was a frequent Trump target during the campaign. But he became one of his most high-profile African-American supporters after Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination.
At HUD, Carson would lead an agency whose mission has been to help middle- and low-income people find homes. It also runs a program aimed at replacing distressed public housing with mixed-income neighborhoods.
The department also oversees mortgage lending and other housing programs.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu Editing bhy W Simon)