President-elect Joe Biden revealed his first nominations for the foreign policy and national security sections of his cabinet on Monday, making history to tap the first woman to lead the US intelligence community.
Alejandro Mayorkas has been selected to be the Secretary of Homeland Security and is a former deputy secretary of DHS. Mayorkas will be tasked with rebuilding an agency after President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policy left the agency in rubble.
Avril Haines is Biden’s pick for director of national intelligence. She is a former top CIA official and deputy national security adviser and will make history as the first woman to lead the agency if she is approved by the Senate.
Antony Blinken has been tapped to be the next secretary of state and is top foreign policy aide. Linda Thomas-Greenfield has been nominated as US ambassador to the United Nations, while Jake Sullivan will join the team as Biden’s national security adviser.
Thomas-Greenfield served as the assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs during the Obama administration.
“We have no time to lose when it comes to our national security and foreign policy. I need a team ready on Day One to help me reclaim America’s seat at the head of the table, rally the world to meet the biggest challenges we face, and advance our security, prosperity, and values,” Biden said in a statement.
“This is the crux of that team. These individuals are equally as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative. Their accomplishments in diplomacy are unmatched, but they also reflect the idea that we cannot meet the profound challenges of this new moment with old thinking and unchanged habits — or without diversity of background and perspective. It’s why I’ve selected them.”
Former Secretary of State John Kerry will fight climate change full-time as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, a new position showing Biden’s commitment to fighting global warming as he said during the campaign.
“President-elect Biden and I know that the moment we walk into the White House, we will inherit a series of unprecedented challenges,” Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said in a statement. “These crisis-tested national security and foreign policy leaders have the knowledge and expertise to keep our country safe and restore and advance America’s leadership around the world.”
“They represent the best of America. They come from different places and reflect different life experiences. But they all share an unwavering belief in America’s ideals and an unshakeable commitment to democracy and the rule of law. And they are the leaders America needs to help meet the challenges of this moment — and those that lie ahead.”