President-elect Joe Biden announced key members of his administration: Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture; Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Katherine Tai, US Trade Representative; and Ambassador Susan Rice, Director of the Domestic Policy Council.

This diverse, tested slate includes some of the nation’s most accomplished public servants:

Secretary Tom Vilsack, a two-term Governor of Iowa and the Secretary of Agriculture for all eight years of the Obama-Biden administration, is ready to get to work on day one. Confirmed by the unanimous consent of the Senate in 2009, Secretary Vilsack oversaw record-breaking investments in rural communities, secured vital improvements to the nation’s school meal system, and led a successful campaign to increase food safety standards.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge has represented Ohio’s 11th Congressional District for the last 12 years, is nominated to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. A former mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, and past Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congresswoman Fudge is a longtime champion of affordable housing, urban revitalization, infrastructure investment, and other reforms to enhance the safety, prosperity, and sustainability of American communities. If confirmed, she will be the first woman to lead HUD in more than 40 years and the second Black woman in history to lead the department.

Denis McDonough, a lifelong public servant who has been engaged at the highest level in shaping domestic and foreign policy, is nominated to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Through his service as White House Chief of Staff, Deputy National Security Advisor, and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council, McDonough helped lead the Obama-Biden administration’s work on behalf of military families and veterans.

Katherine Tai, a  veteran international trade expert who has spent her career working to level the playing field for American workers and families, is nominated to serve as US Trade Representative. If confirmed, she would be the first Asian American and first woman of color to serve in this position. Tai serves as the chief lawyer on trade for the House Ways and Means Committee and previously served in the Office of the United States Trade Representative as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement.

Ambassador Susan Rice will serve as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. As a former member of the Cabinet, she understands the challenges and opportunities of running an agency and has extensive experience working with other key members of the Biden-Harris White House team, including the heads of NSC and NEC.

“This dedicated and distinguished group of public servants will bring the highest level of experience, compassion, and integrity to bear, solving problems and expanding possibilities for the American people in the face of steep challenges,” Biden said. “The roles they will take on are where the rubber meets the road — where competent and crisis-tested governance can make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, enhancing the dignity, equity, security, and prosperity of the day-to-day lives of Americans. This is the right team for this moment in history, and I know that each of these leaders will hit the ground running on day one to take on the interconnected crises families are facing today.”

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said, “Over the past few weeks, President-elect Biden and I have announced members of our administration who will help contain this pandemic, responsibly open our economy, and keep our nation safe and secure. The administration members we are announcing today will help us meet a range of other challenges — from helping make sure no American goes hungry to putting affordable housing within reach for all to caring for veterans and their families and advancing our ideals of opportunity and equality.”


Susan Rice (Photo: Biden-Harris Transition)
Susan Rice (Photo: Biden-Harris Transition)

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