Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have formed the most diverse and even team in American history. Some of their faces are familiar to us, coming from the Obama Administration in which Biden was vice president.
Many of the nominees have yet to be confirmed by the Senate, but Democrats have the upper hand after the victory of two senators in the second round of elections in Georgia earlier this month.
These are some of the main nominations to face one of the most complicated mandates with the challenge of uniting the country, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences.
Secretary of State: Antony Blinken
Antony Blinken will serve as the top US diplomat in the Biden administration, directing the country’s foreign relations. This means that he will be a crucial figure in the administration and is likely to have contact with European leaders.
Blinken is the former Assistant Secretary of State in the Obama administration and has advised Biden since 2002 on foreign policy.
Secretary of Defense: Lloyd Austin
Lloyd Austin will be the first African American to serve as the US secretary of defense, putting him in charge of the largest and most expensive department in the US government.
Austin is a retired four-star general with more than 40 years of military service and was the main architect of the military campaign to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Secretary of the Treasury: Janet Yellen
Yellen, if confirmed in the Senate, will be the first woman to lead the US Treasury, directing US economic policy and thus influencing the world economy.
The former president of the US Federal Reserve was the first woman to lead the US central banking system. She was also chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under former President Bill Clinton.
Fiscal General: Juez Merrick Garland
Merrick Garland is well known to Americans after his nomination by President Barack Obama to the United States Supreme Court in 2016.
Republicans in the Senate refused to hold hearings for Garland during an election year, angering many Democrats. However, Garland is viewed as a moderate and is the chief judge of the Washington DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the second highest court in the nation.
He will become the chief attorney for the federal government and head of the Justice Department under Biden.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Dr. Rochelle Walensky
America’s leading disease control and prevention agency will likely remain in the spotlight as the Biden administration continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leading the agency will be Dr. Rochelle Walenksy, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Walensky is known for her work on HIV / AIDS and is an expert in preventing the virus.
Department of Health and Human Services: Xavier Becerra
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who will be the first Latino to head the department of health and human services.
As a member of Congress, Becerra worked to pass the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration’s landmark health legislation. As Attorney General in California, he worked to uphold the law in the US court system.
Meanwhile, the US surgeon general, who oversees public health, will be Dr. Vivek Murthy, who previously served in the Obama administration.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been one of the key faces in the US response to COVID-19, will be Biden’s chief medical adviser on the virus.
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate: John Kerry
Former US Secretary of State John Kerry will serve as Biden’s special presidential envoy for climate. Kerry was the US diplomat responsible for negotiating and signing the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. He is well known to European leaders.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Granholm, the former Michigan governor who worked on clean energy policy in the state, will take over the energy department.
The Environmental Protection Agency will be led by Michael Regan, who is currently Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations: Linda Thomas-Greenfield
Thomas-Greenfield served as a diplomat for 35 years before retiring in 2017. She has worked on four different continents, serving in Liberia, Switzerland, Pakistan, Kenya, Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica.
She previously served as the Deputy Secretary of the Office of African Affairs in the Obama administration.
Deb Haaland: Home Secretary
Deb Haaland will become the first Native American to head a US government department if she is confirmed as secretary of the interior.
The 60-year-old congresswoman from New Mexico is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna. As secretary of the interior, she will play a role that has influenced the nearly 600 federally recognized tribes, as well as the nation’s public lands, waterways, wildlife, national parks, and mineral wealth.
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency: Ambassador William J. Burns
Burns served in the US foreign service for 33 years and most recently was the director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
He was previously Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs and was the US Ambassador to Russia during the Bush administration.
Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines
Haines will be the first woman to serve as the Director of National Intelligence. She was previously the first woman to serve as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
She was previously a national security adviser to President Obama.
Secretary of National Security: Alejandro Mayorkas
If confirmed, Mayorkas would be the first Latino to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He was deputy secretary of the department from 2013 to 2016 and worked in law enforcement for 30 years.
US citizenship and immigration services, as well as customs law enforcement, are run through DHS.