The Biden Administration: Key Cabinet Positions Named

Some of Biden's expected appointees also reflect Biden's promise to build an administration that reflects the diversity of the United States

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From left: Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Avril Haines, Antony J Blinken, Alejandro Mayorkas, and John Kerry. Montage created November 23, 2020.
From left: Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Avril Haines, Antony J Blinken, Alejandro Mayorkas, and John Kerry. Montage created November 23, 2020.Credit: THOS ROBINSON WIN MCNAMEE STEPHA

Democratic President-elect Joe Biden will begin naming members of his Cabinet this week, appointing experts with deep foreign policy experience to key posts in line with his pledge to restore America's global ties and standing as a world leader.

Some of the expected appointees also reflect Biden's promise to build an administration that reflects the diversity of the United States. He will announce the first of his Cabinet picks on Tuesday, according to incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain.

Biden picked a number of people for top Cabinet and White House posts on Monday, including Antony Blinken to be secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and Avril Haines to be director of national intelligence, his transition team said.

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will act as "climate czar" and will sit on the National Security Council, "reflecting the president-elect’s commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue."

Alejandro Mayorkas will be nominated for Homeland Security secretary and Linda Thomas-Greenfield for U.N. ambassador, it said in a statement. 

President-elect Joe Biden at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., November 20, 2020. Credit: Carolyn Kaster,AP

SECRETARY OF STATE

Antony Blinken - Biden's transition team says he will name Blinken secretary of state. Blinken is a longtime Biden confidant who served as No. 2 at the State Department and as deputy national security adviser in President Barack Obama's administration, in which Biden served as vice president.

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER

Jake Sullivan - The choice of Blinken as secretary of state leaves Sullivan as Biden's top choice for U.S. national security adviser, a source told Reuters. Sullivan, who will be named says the transition team, served as Biden’s national security adviser during the Obama administration and also as deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS

Linda Thomas-Greenfield - Thomas-Greenfield will be named the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She is a Black woman who served as Obama's top diplomat on Africa from 2013 to 2017, leading U.S. policy in sub-Saharan Africa during the West African Ebola outbreak.

DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE 

Avril Haines - She was the deputy national security adviser under Obama, and previously the first woman to serve as CIA deputy director. Haines held several posts at Columbia University after leaving the Obama administration in 2017.

HOMELAND SECURITY

Alejandro Mayorkas - A Cuban-American lawyer, he would be the first Latino to head the department. As head of Citizenship and Immigration Services under Obama, he led implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) for so-called Dreamers, who were brought to the United States illegally as children. DACA drew Republican criticism and could lead to Republican opposition in the Senate if he is nominated.

CHIEF OF STAFF

Ron Klain - A longtime Biden adviser with experience in responding to the Ebola pandemic, Klain was picked for the chief of staff role that sets the president's agenda. 

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