December 5, 2016: Adventist retired neurosurgeon and former GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson was chosen by President-Elect Donald Trump as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development today.
Carson’s appointment marks the highest ranking United States government position ever held by an active member of the Adventist Church in history.
His appointment as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is somewhat ironic: He has been very critical of the programs that HUD operates, saying that such government programs create an unhealthy dependency on government aid.
He recently said he would not accept a cabinet position due to the fact he had absolutely no government experience.
However, Carson reversed his position and is now poised to lead one of the government’s main efforts to improve the state of American cities.
“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities,” Mr. Trump said in a statement Monday morning.
“We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities.”
Carson’s story about growing up in an inner city neighborhood in Detroit where his Adventist mother played a key role in his life has been told in books originally published by Adventist publishers.
He is well-known for stressing that escaping poverty is the result of individual effort and not that of government programs.
Carson attended Yale on a scholarship before being hired as the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in his early 30s.
Photo by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0