With the transfer of power officially underway, President-elect Joe Biden introduced his first wave of Cabinet appointees.
Confirmation of these positions will later be approved by the Senate.
“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. “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.”
After weeks of public pushback from President Donald Trump over the election results, U.S. General Services Administrator Emily Murphy finally gave Biden the go-ahead to begin the presidential transition. In the letter, she noted, “I did not receive any direction to delay my determination… Even in the face of thousands of threats, I always remained committed to upholding the law.”
In building his team, Biden says he wanted to assemble a group that “looks like America,” uplifted by experience and talent.
“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. “[These] are the leaders of America.”
Biden’s first TV interview since winning the presidency will air tonight with NBC News’ Lester Holt. He will likely elaborate on his leadership plan, but for now, see his picks below.
Secretary of State: Antony Blinken
The former Deputy Secretary of State has held top foreign affairs posts on Capitol Hill, in the White House and in the State Department.
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas
The first Latino and immigrant nominated to serve in the position and has been confirmed to the Senate three times over the course of his career.
United Nations Ambassador: Linda Thomas-Greenfield
A 35-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service who has served on four continents.
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate: John Kerry
The former secretary of state will fight climate change full-time as part of the National Security Council as its first official dedicated to climate change.
Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines
The first woman to lead the intelligence community, backed with experience as former CIA deputy director and deputy national security advisor.
National Security Advisor: Jake Sullivan
One of the youngest people to hold this role in decades and served as Biden’s national security adviser during the Obama administration.