Biden to Announce Nat'l Security Team 11/24 06:20
President-elect Joe Biden is set to formally introduce his national security
team to the nation, building out a team of Obama administration alumni that
signals his shift away from the Trump administration's "America First" policies
and a return to U.S. engagement on the global stage.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President-elect Joe Biden is set to formally introduce
his national security team to the nation, building out a team of Obama
administration alumni that signals his shift away from the Trump
administration's "America First" policies and a return to U.S. engagement on
the global stage.
The picks for national security and foreign-policy posts include former
Secretary of State John Kerry to take the lead on combating climate change.
Kerry and several other people set to join the upcoming administration will be
discussed by Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris during a Tuesday
Outside the realm of national security and foreign policy, Biden is expected
to choose Janet Yellen as the first woman to become treasury secretary. She was
nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Reserve, the first
woman in that position, and served from 2014 to 2018.
Biden's emerging Cabinet marks a return to a more traditional approach to
governing, relying on veteran policymakers with deep expertise and strong
relationships in Washington and global capitals. And with a roster that
includes multiple women and people of color --- some of whom are breaking
historic barriers in their posts --- Biden is fulfilling his campaign promise
to lead a team that reflects the diversity of America.
The incoming president will nominate longtime adviser Antony Blinken to be
secretary of state; lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security
secretary; Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations;
and Jake Sullivan as national security adviser. Avril Haines, a former deputy
director of the CIA, will be nominated as director of national intelligence,
the first woman to hold that post.
Thomas-Greenfield is Black, and Mayorkas is Cuban American.
Those being introduced on Tuesday "are experienced, crisis-tested leaders
who are ready to hit the ground running on day one," the transition said in a
statement. "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
In the weeks ahead, Biden could also name Michle Flournoy as the first
woman to lead the Defense Department. Pete Buttigieg, the former Indiana mayor
and onetime presidential candidate, has also been mentioned as a contender for
a Cabinet agency.
In making the choices public on Monday, Biden moved forward with plans to
fill out his administration even as President Donald Trump refused to concede
defeat in the Nov. 3 election, has pursued baseless legal challenges in several
key states and worked to stymie the transition process.
Trump said later Monday that he was directing his team to cooperate on the
transition but vowed to keep up the fight. His comment came after the General
Services Administration ascertained that Biden was the apparent winner of the
election, clearing the way for the start of the transition from Trump's
administration and allowing Biden to coordinate with federal agencies on plans
for taking over on Jan. 20.
Biden's nominations were generally met with silence on Capitol Hill, where
the Senate's balance of power hinges on two runoff races that will be decided
The best known of the bunch is Kerry, who made climate change one of his top
priorities while serving as Obama's secretary of state, during which he also
negotiated the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord. Trump withdrew
from both agreements, which he said represented a failure of American diplomacy
in a direct shot at Kerry, whom he called the worst secretary of state in U.S.
"America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the
urgent national security threat it is," Kerry said. "I'm proud to partner with
the president-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement
to take on this crisis as the president's climate envoy."
Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national
security adviser during the Obama administration. He recently participated in a
national security briefing with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
and weighed in publicly just last week on notable foreign policy issues in
Egypt and Ethiopia.
Blinken served on the National Security Council during the Clinton
administration before becoming staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee when Biden was chair of the panel. In the early years of the Obama
administration, Blinken returned to the NSC and was Biden's national security
adviser when Biden was vice president, then moved to the State Department to
serve as deputy to Kerry.