Biden names picks for Secretary of State, other key Cabinet positions

by Joel Abbott · Nov 23rd, 2020 4:12 pm

Last Updated Nov 24th, 2020 at 7:16 pm

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden named his potential appointments for several key Cabinet positions Monday, giving a larger view into his administration should he take office in January.

Biden said he plans to appoint Antony Blinken, 58, as his Secretary of State. Blinken previously served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy National Security Adviser from 2013 to 2015 under former President Barack Obama. He has reportedly advised Biden on foreign policy since 2002.

Blinken is seen as a more moderate choice to appeal to a potential GOP-led Senate. He has been called a "born internationalist" in sharp contrast to Trump's "America first" policies.

Biden also named Alejandro Mayorkas, the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security under his second term as vice president, as the secretary of Homeland Security.

The former vice president announced a number of other people he would appoint in his administration:

  • Avril Haines, former deputy to Obama CIA Director John Brennan and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, as Director of National Intelligence. Haines, if confirmed, would be the first woman to serve in the position.
  • Former Secretary of State John Kerry as the "special presidential envoy for climate." Kerry would sit on the National Security Council – a move by Biden to designate climate change policy as a matter of national security.
  • Jake Sullivan, Hillary Clinton's former senior policy adviser for her 2016 campaign and former Deputy Chief of Staff at the State Department, as White House National Security Adviser.
  • Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Obama's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, as United Nations Ambassador – a new position Biden intends to create on his Cabinet.

Several of the nominees confirmed the news on Twitter.

"We have no time to lose when it comes to our national security and foreign policy," said a statement from Biden. "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."


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