On Monday, President-elect Joe Biden announced key members of his foreign policy and national security team including Antony Blinken, Secretary of State; Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security; Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence; Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor; and John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
According to Biden’s transition team, these “experienced, crisis-tested leaders” will start working immediately to rebuild US institutions, renew and reimagine American leadership to keep Americans safe at home and abroad, and address the defining challenges of this time — from infectious disease to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber threats, and climate change.
Earlier on Monday, Biden appointed Reema Dodin and Shuwanza Goff as deputy directors of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.
“We have no time to lose when it comes to our national security and foreign policy,” Biden said. “I need a team ready on Day One to help me reclaim America’s seat at the head of the table, rally the world to meet the biggest challenges we face, and advance our security, prosperity, and values. This is the crux of that team.
“These individuals are equally as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative,” he added. “Their accomplishments in diplomacy are unmatched, but they also reflect the idea that we cannot meet the profound challenges of this new moment with old thinking and unchanged habits — or without diversity of background and perspective. It’s why I’ve selected them.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris echoed the President-elect, saying, “President-elect Biden and I know that the moment we walk into the White House, we will inherit a series of unprecedented challenges. These crisis-tested national security and foreign policy leaders have the knowledge and expertise to keep our country safe and restore and advance America’s leadership around the world.
“They represent the best of America,” she continued. “They come from different places and reflect different life experiences. But they all share an unwavering belief in America’s ideals and an unshakeable commitment to democracy and the rule of law. And they are the leaders America needs to help meet the challenges of this moment — and those that lie ahead.”
Today’s announcement includes the following nominations and appointments:
Antony Blinken, a former Deputy Secretary of State, will be nominated to serve as Secretary of State having previously held top foreign affairs posts on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and in the State Department.
Alejandro Mayorkas, a former Deputy Secretary of DHS, who has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate three times throughout his career, will be the first Latino and immigrant nominated to serve as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service who has served on four continents, will be nominated to serve as United Nations Ambassador and elevated the role to his Cabinet.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry will fight climate change full-time as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and will sit on the National Security Council. This marks the first time that the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change, reflecting the president-elect’s commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue.
Avril Haines, a former Deputy Director of the CIA and Deputy National Security Advisor, will be nominated to serve as Director of National Intelligence and will be the first woman to lead the intelligence community.
Jake Sullivan has been appointed National Security Advisor and will be one of the youngest people to serve in that role in decades.