With future policies in mind and a team of officials by his side, President-elect Joe Biden is almost ready to transition into the White House. As his inauguration draws near, Biden is seeking out trusted individuals to fill the influential seats of his cabinet and help him carry out his Democratic agenda from Washington DC.
A high-ranking position in the presidential administration is earned through good works and loyalty. Biden’s campaign team carried around a fair share of these qualities, making many of the team members deserving of a powerful role in government. Longtime Biden supporter, Antony Blinken, is one of such individuals.
As a Harvard Law-graduate, National Security Council member for the Clinton administration, Democratic staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under a Biden chairmanship, and former Deputy Secretary of State for President Obama, Blinken has a long history in American politics. Blinken’s political prowess, moderate political mindset, and reputation for swaying Republicans in the Senate, complemented by his devotion to Biden’s presidency, has influenced Biden to take him on as Secretary of State.
In addition to Blinken, the President-elect has selected a few other staunch supporters to take part in his administration. Avril Haines, Biden’s choice for Director of National Intelligence, served as his campaign national security advisor and has worked by his side since Biden’s days in the Senate during the early 2000s. Biden’s pick for Special Climate Envoy, John Kerry, worked closely with the President-elect for 23 years as Massachusetts Senator from 1985-2013 and was an early backer of Biden’s presidential campaign in the 2020 Democratic primaries. Similarly, Biden has chosen Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary in response to his diligent work as the top rural and agriculture policy advisor during Biden’s presidential campaign.
As the Democratic leader, Biden has made it a top priority to incorporate more diversity into his cabinet. With this in mind, the President-elect is searching for individuals with good work ethic, political experience, as well as a new perspective to offer. These qualities can be found in a large portion of Biden’s selected administration.
If confirmed, for example, Alejandro Mayorkas will become the first Latino Secretary of Homeland Security in 18-years, and Xavier Becerra will be the first Latino to run the Health Department as the Health and Human Services Secretary. If elected, Gen. Lloyd Austin will make history as the first African American to lead the Pentagon as the Defense Secretary.
Biden intends to take a different path than his predecessors by further recognizing the importance of diverse racial and gender representation in national politics. Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, empowered women everywhere after she was elected as America’s first female Vice President. If confirmed, Avril Haines will become the highest ranking woman in the U.S. Intelligence community along with the first female Director of National Intelligence. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio will produce further racial and gender diversity as only the second black woman to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, if elected, Janet Yellen will succeed in becoming the first female Treasury Secretary, and Neera Tanden will be the first woman of color as Director of Office of Management and Budget as well as the third woman to take that role.
The various selected officials will not only help expand the U.S. government by creating the most diverse presidential cabinet in American history, but will also bring a wide range of political experience to the table. All of the chosen individuals have an impressive political resume, and a majority of them have gained their accomplished reputation from working with President Barack Obama.
Blinken, the president-elect’s chosen Secretary of State, served as the Deputy Secretary of State under Obama. Haines, the future Director of National Intelligence, was the Deputy National security Advisor in the Obama administration; and Alejandro Mayorkas is the future and former Secretary of Homeland Security. Similarly, Biden’s selected Director of the US Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, served in the same position under Obama; and the former Secretary of Agriculture for Obama, Tom Vilsack, has been chosen to fill the same role under Biden. John Kerry, the newly elected Special Climate Envoy, served as President Obama’s Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017.
Although still on the hunt to fill the remaining eight cabinet roles and four cabinet-level positions, Biden’s team of officials is chock-full of talent, political experience, as well as a wide range of perspectives. With more women and people of color incorporated into the U.S. government, America is sure to see a new side of the story and hopefully a brighter future as well.