(Long title: “Biden’s Budding Cabinet: Deep Experience, Expertise, Character, Diversity, Crisis-Tested – Not Loyalists, Bootlickers, Cronies, Big Donors, Little Minds”)
In an op-ed article in June, Biden wrote:
Across the board — from our classrooms to our courtrooms to the president’s cabinet — we have to make sure that our leadership and our institutions actually look like America.
More recently, the president-elect’s transition team said:
[They]are experienced, crisis-tested leaders who are ready to hit the ground running on day one. 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.
Thus far, it appears that the president-elect is fulfilling his campaign promises to the letter, especially in the areas of experience and diversity, of making sure that the U.S. leadership and institutions “actually look like America.”.
This is already apparent in his choices for several top cabinet positions which Biden announced in his first “address to the nation” since the General Services Administration finally conceded and designated Biden the apparent winner:
Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban American who served as the deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration, creator of the DACA program and the first Latino person and first immigrant to be selected for that high position.
Director of National Intelligence: Avril D. Haines, former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the first woman to lead the US intelligence community.
National Security Advisor: Jake Sullivan, former deputy assistant to President Obama and advisor to Biden on national security. At 43, if confirmed, Sullivan will be one of the youngest national security advisers in our history,
For U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a position restored to cabinet-level status, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a Black woman with 35 years of stellar experience in foreign service including U.S. ambassador to Liberia from 2008 to 2012 and service as the assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs during the Obama administration. The Louisiana nominee promised to put “a Cajun spin” on her approach.
For what may be the most prestigious cabinet position, Secretary of State, the nominee is Antony Blinken who really does not need an introduction except to say that he represents, is, experience, expertise, and diplomacy.
Of similar pedigree is Biden’s nominee for a brand new and particularly important cabinet-level position, that of special presidential envoy for climate change, part of the National Security Council. As Biden’s nominee, former Secretary of State and leading architect of the Paris climate agreement, John Kerry also needs no introduction and, significantly, no Senate confirmation.
It is also reported that Biden plans to nominate Janet L. Yellen as Treasury Secretary. That nomination would place a woman in charge of Treasury for the first time in the department’s history.
Finally, if persistent reports prove correct, Michèle Flournoy could be the first woman to become Secretary of Defense.
While this writer, thus far, is not scoring well with his Biden cabinet predictions, it is good to see that Biden is getting it right.
The author is a retired U.S. Air Force officer and a writer.