Profiles of the people expected to take key posts in the Biden administration – Biden picks first women and first Latino for key cabinet roles
Joe Biden’s choice for secretary of state marks a sharp break with the Trump administration. The former deputy secretary of state is a committed internationalist, who spent some of his childhood in Paris and is fluent in French. He views US engagement with the world, and particularly Europe, as vital. He was a member of Bill Clinton’s White House staff in the 1990s and served under President Barack Obama. In 2019 he expressed strong opinions about Brexit, saying: “This is not just the dog that caught the car, this is the dog that caught the car and the car goes into reverse and runs over the dog. It’s a total mess.”
The 74-year-old economist was the first woman to chair the US Federal Reserve, and looks set to achieve another first: becoming the country’s first female treasury secretary. Professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, a former assistant professor at Harvard and a lecturer at the London School of Economics, Yellen is an expert in labour markets and has highlighted the economic impact of uneven growth in the jobs market. Donald Trump declined to reappoint her after his election, making her the first central bank chief not to serve two terms since the Carter administration.
Described by the former Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro as “a historic and experienced choice to lead an agency in desperate need of reform”, the Cuban-American lawyer served as the deputy secretary of homeland security for nearly three years under Obama. Formerly Obama’s director of US citizenship and immigration services, if confirmed, the 61-year-old would be the first Latino and the first immigrant to lead the department.
The Louisianian was formerly assistant secretary of state for African affairs under the Obama and Trump administrations. She was also the US ambassador to Liberia under George W Bush and Obama. Of her appointment, Thomas-Greenfield, 68, has said: “My mother taught me to lead with the power of kindness and compassion to make the world a better place. I’ve carried that lesson with me throughout my career in foreign service and, if confirmed, will do the same as ambassador to the United Nations.”
Sullivan was the national security adviser to Biden when he was vice-president and served as deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state. Since 2014, Sullivan, 43, has been teaching at Yale law school.
Source: The Guardian