With further preferred candidates for his cabinet, the future US President Joe Biden keeps his promise to make the next government as diverse as the Americans themselves. His team is also far more feminine than any previous cabinet. If his previous nominations are confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Biden will be on track to break the record for most cabinet women. It could also become the first government team in American history with equal numbers of women and men.
As previously reported by the US media, China expert Katherine Tai is to become trade representative. Unlike many nominees who have served in Barack Obamba’s previous administration, Tai has no previous government experience. To this end, the lawyer trained at Yale and Harvard has fought several US lawsuits against China before the World Trade Organization (WTO). She would be the first woman in the office and also the first Asian-born representative on Biden’s team.
Meanwhile, Biden has another premiere with Steve Buttigieg. He brings the former rival from the primary campaign into the office of Minister of Transport. The 38-year-old former mayor would be the United States’ first openly gay minister. As a “patriot and problem solver”, according to Biden, he obviously has the prerequisites to push through the promised climate-friendly cuts for the auto industry and the transport sector in the key position. Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, who is slated to become energy minister, is also an advocate of an energy transition.
One hurdle that Biden does not take in the key positions, however, is that in the Ministry of Defense, which – like the finance department – has never been led by a woman. He decided against a female candidate and for a former general – albeit with a superlative: Lloyd Austin will be the first black man in this position when Congress approves him. The handover of government affairs to the next president is thus taking shape. All posts in the new administration are said to have been presented to the public before Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are sworn in on January 20, 2021.
These are some of the key personalities in Biden’s future cabinet:
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With construction and energy, traffic is one of the sectors that should fundamentally change in order to achieve Biden’s climate protection goals. If Pete Buttigieg is confirmed as Minister, he will play an important role in Biden’s plans to improve the ailing American infrastructure with billions of dollars. As Biden explained, he sees the great political talent of the Indiana Democrats primarily as an ideal occupation at the intersection of many future problems: “Jobs, infrastructure, equality and climate come together in this department,” he said. A place where it will be decided whether he can implement his ambitious goals.
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The 45-year-old Katherine Tai comes from an advisory position in Congress. However, she has worked in the office of former trade representatives for years and brings a lot of experience in trade policy with her. With Tai, Biden sends a skilled diplomat and problem solver on the way to devise alternatives to the trade dispute with China fueled by Trump. Her appointment is a clear signal to Beijing in two ways: The lawyer trained at elite universities speaks fluent Mandarin. And she is considered to be the representative of a tough line towards China. Another task is the reform of the World Trade Organization and trade policy with the EU.
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Department of Energy
The former governor from Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, already signaled in an opinion piece from the auto industry in her state in November: The time for a climate-friendly upswing is now. When it comes to energy issues, she is far ahead of her time and a staunch advocate of an energy transition at the federal level. The 61-year-old served as Michigan’s first female governor for two terms from 2003 to 2010 and supported Biden in the election campaign.
The four-star General Lloyd Austin only hung up his uniform a few years ago, which is why he needs special permission from Congress for the high political post in addition to confirmation in the Senate. The 67-year-old is controversial because of his proximity to the American arms industry. He last sat on the board of directors of the Raytheon Group. However, Biden attests to his exemplary leadership qualities and strength of character. Before his retirement in 2016, Austin was the first African American in the high command of the US Forces in the Middle East (Centcom) under Barack Obama and led the operation against the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS). Now Austin is supposed to take better care of the battered relations with the US allies.
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Ministry of Finance
Janet Yellen’s first test as Treasury Secretary is likely to be negotiating an economic stimulus package with Congress to help the troubled economy recover. As for her future course, she is an advocate of active fiscal policy and soft monetary policy. In tax matters, she is likely to have an open ear for European concerns, for example in climate policy or towards the dominant US tech corporations. The Republican recognized her for her intellect, foresight, and independence in the 2009 financial crisis. In her first tweet, she wrote: “For recovery we need to revive the American dream – a society where everyone can realize their potential and have even more daring dreams for the children.”
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Budget and Administrative Authority (OMB)
Neera Tanden has historically not minified her criticism of the American right. Most recently, she was targeting “opportunist” Republicans, who campaigned for the urgent confirmation of ultra-conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett in the US Supreme Court shortly before the presidential election. Biden’s course of approaching moderate Republicans, however, supports them. She will need Tanden to implement election promises such as $ 2 trillion for a climate-neutral transformation of society and comprehensive reform of childcare. On Twitter, the 50-year-old politician with Indian roots was predicted to face tough headwinds in the Senate.
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National Economic Council
The appointment of Brian Deese (in the picture on the right) to the head of the National Economic Council is, so to speak, Biden’s commitment to a kind of “Green Deal” in the USA. At Blackrock, Deese leads the sustainability department and has given lectures and lectures on how the financial market can help stop climate change. His Sustainable Investing team has had investment products in their portfolio that are geared towards ecological, social and governance criteria (ESG) for years. As an advisor to Obama, Deese was involved in the negotiations of the Paris climate agreement as well as in the talks to revive the US automotive industry after the financial crisis.
Council of Economic Advisers
Cecilia Rouse will chair the White House Economic Wise Men. “Now the planning for a fairer economy begins, based on facts and evidence,” she wrote in an initial response. Rouse is a labor economist and most recently headed the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) as dean. She would be the first African American woman and the fourth woman to head the 74-year-old body of which she was an adviser under Obama. In the Corona crisis, she spoke out in favor of direct bridging aid for those in need. Jared Bernstein, Vice President Biden’s Chief Economist, and Heather Boushey will also serve on the council. Bernstein advocates strengthening the trade unions and supporting the economy through higher government spending. Boushey is located further to the left, runs a think tank that deals with inequality and advocates reforms such as sick pay and free childcare.
Biden’s philosophy that America’s strength lies in its alliances is embodied primarily by future Secretary of State Antony Blinken. No one is better prepared for this post than he, said Biden. The 58-year-old grew up in Paris, comes from a family of immigrants, and has already visited international trouble spots under Obama as a national security advisor and advised Vice President Biden. He is considered one of the closest confidants. America now needs cooperation and confidence, said Blinken. By virtue of its capabilities, it is still best suited to bring states together and solve problems of this time. For Blinken, international cooperation is also the key to overcoming the economic consequences of the corona crisis.
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Ambassador to the United Nations
At the United Nations, too, the allies can look forward to a committed return by Washington in the spirit of multilateralism. Linda Thomas-Greenfield will represent the United States at the UN in future. In 35 years in the diplomatic service, the African American has served in various overseas posts, including in Africa, and coordinated US aid to West Africa in the fight against the Ebola epidemic. She reminded that an ascent like hers was only possible in the USA – “where life can be hard and cruel, but where there is hope in battle and promise in our dreams”.
@imago images / Björn Trotsky
After the end of his tenure as Foreign Minister, John Kerry has remained a sought-after discussion partner, as he did at the side of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at this year’s Munich Security Conference. He occupies the newly created post of Special Representative for Climate Protection, a key issue in Biden, who sets up the post as a signal of his determination. Beyond the Paris Climate Agreement, Kerry also sees it as his task to help protect the climate and create millions of jobs for the middle class, as well as to contribute to cleaner oceans and healthier lives for people around the world. Kerry is a ministerial and sits on the National Security Council.
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Ministry of Homeland Security
Alejandro Mayorkas, according to Biden, has the difficult and critical task of repairing the broken immigration system in the United States. The 60-year-old native Cuban is the first Latino to take on the post of Minister of Homeland Security and is also not a blank slate. From 2013 to 2016, he was deputy to the then incumbent Jeh Johnson and responsible for the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which granted children of undocumented immigrants legal residence status. The so-called Dreamers program, which Trump did not renew. Prior to that, he was head of the Citizenship and Immigration Department (USCIS).
@imago Images / Zuma wires / Biden Twitter
National Security Advisor
The future National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan helped negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran for the US government and experienced the pitfalls of Middle East policy. At 43 years old, he is one of the youngest on the team and in this position, but, according to Biden, is getting one of the toughest jobs in the world. Sullivan advised Biden on domestic and foreign policy matters during the election campaign, including developing a strategy against the corona pandemic. Biden said at the presentation that he understood the vision that economic security is also national security. Critics miss corners and edges in Sullivan’s previous statements.
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US intelligence coordinator
Avril Haines will become the first woman in US history to coordinate the work of US intelligence. Biden praised the longtime confidante as a vehement advocate of the truth. She was already the deputy chief of the CIA foreign intelligence service, and now the 51-year-old will become the national secret service director. Both worked together for over ten years, including when Biden headed the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and Haines provided him with legal advice. She later did so on the Obama administration’s National Security Council and was Deputy National Security Advisor. It also concerned the legal framework for the controversial use of unmanned drones in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.
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White House Chief of Staff
Biden’s longtime confidante Ron Klain was appointed Chief of Staff in the White House in mid-November. Not only is he a die-hard Washington insider, he also knows his way around the White House: first as Vice Biden’s chief of staff, and later during a guest appearance for Obama, when he helped coordinate the fight against the Ebola epidemic in Africa (see picture). He then joined the Hillary Clinton campaign team, then returned to business as a lobbyist before joining Biden at campaign headquarters.