President-elect Joe Biden announced a slew of appointments and nominees for top security and foreign policy roles on Monday, The Associated Press reports.
Biden announced that Antony Blinken, his former national security adviser and the deputy Secretary of State, would be his secretary of state. Blinken also served as the deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama. He got his start on President Bill Clinton’s national security council before joining the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was headed by Biden at the time.
Biden also announced that he would tap longtime State Department and US Foreign Service official Linda Thomas-Greenfield as his ambassador to the United Nations.
He said he will nominate Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban-American attorney and former federal prosecutor, to be his secretary of homeland security. Mayorkas previously served as the deputy secretary at DHS after a stint as the director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Biden also tapped Avril Haines, the former deputy director of the CIA, to serve as his director of national intelligence.
Greenfield would be the first Black UN ambassador, Mayorkas would be the first Latino DHS secretary, and Haines would be the first woman to serve as the DNI.
John Kerry gets a role:
Biden also announced that former Secretary of State John Kerry would serve as his climate czar and receive a special role on the National Security Council.
“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” Kerry said. “I’m proud to partner with the president-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the president’s climate envoy.”
The picks “are experienced, crisis-tested leaders who are ready to hit the ground running on day one,” the transition said in a statement. “These officials will start working immediately to rebuild our institutions, renew and reimagine American leadership to keep Americans safe at home and abroad, and address the defining challenges of our time — from infectious disease, to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber threats, and climate change.”
Yellen, Flournoy rumored for top picks:
Biden is also expected to tap former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury secretary. Yellen previously served as the head of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers. She would become the first female Treasury secretary.
Biden is also expected to nominate former Pentagon official Michele Flournoy as his Defense secretary, which would make her the first woman to hold the position if confirmed.
Flournoy worked as a strategy and policy official in the Pentagon under Clinton and Obama though she has drawn criticism for her support of expanding the number of troops in Afghanistan and the intervention in Libya. She has also spent years working for defense contractors.