Donald Trump has picked Ben Carson as secretary of housing and urban development.
“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities,” the president-elect said in a statement about his former rival for the Republican nomination, adding that the two had discussed his “urban renewal agenda”.
Ben Carson is the first African-American to be nominated for Donald Trump’s cabinet.
The retired neurosurgeon endorsed Donald Trump in March after ending his own bid for the White House.
“Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a presidency representing all Americans,” Donald Trump’s statement said.
However, Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the nomination of Ben Carson calling him a “disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice to lead a department as complex and consequential as housing and urban development”.
The agency has an annual budget of about $50 billion.
Donald Trump has not always been so positive about the man he has chosen to join his administration.
In November 2015, when Ben Carson briefly overtook him in the polls for the Republican nomination, Donald Trump launched sustained attacks on his rival’s character.
In one tweet, he brought together three of Ben Carson’s most controversial statements, bringing up Carson’s own admissions about his violent behavior growing up in a poor family in Detroit.
Ben Carson has since reiterated statements about his teenage years first made in his autobiography, in which he admitted to wanting to hit his mother on the head with a hammer and to trying to stab a friend.
His assertion that the Egyptian pyramids were not built to entomb pharaohs but instead by the Biblical figure Joseph to store grain were widely ridiculed when they emerged in November.
Ben Carson is a devout Protestant Christian who is a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church.
Cabinet appointments need to be confirmed by the Senate.
There are still major cabinet positions yet to be announced, including the next secretary of state.
As well as his top team, Donald Trump has about 4,000 government positions to fill.