Wilmington, DE: President-elect Joe Biden promised a shift from President Trump‘s “America First” policy while unveiling nominees for his foreign policy and national security team here on Tuesday, vowing that America would return to working with its international partners.
Biden, speaking the day after the GSA certified the election results to officially begin the presidential transition, spotlighted the deep experience of his appointees while also highlighting their diversity.
“It’s a team that reflects that America is back. Ready to lead the world, not retreat from it,” Biden said while formally introducing the appointees.
Many of the appointees Biden introduced have long careers in public service, representing what many have described as a return to normalcy in Washington.
A close adviser to Biden, Jake Sullivan has been designated for the national security Advisor post. He had been national secretary advisor to Biden when he was the vice president.
Avril Haines, who was designated for the director of national intelligence, will become the first woman to head the intelligence community. She is a former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and deputy national security advisor and had worked with Biden when he chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Alejandro Mayorkas is the designee for Secretary of Homeland Security, the first Latino to hold the post if confirmed by the Senate.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield is selected to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to be elevated to a Cabinet-level position as it was for Nilkki Haley. She is a former assistant secretary of state in charge of Africa.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry will be special presidential envoy for climate and his post has been placed within the National Security Council.
During her speech at the end of the event, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris emphasized a shift from the last four years of the Trump administration.
“When Joe asked me to be his running mate, he told me about his commitment to making sure we selected a Cabinet that looks like America that reflects the best of our nation. And that’s what we have done,” she said.
Harris remarked that the president-elect will “ask tough questions, demand that we be guided by facts and expect our team to speak the truth.”
The appointment of several women in senior positions and an emphasis on racial diversity reflects Biden’s promise to address gender and ethnic inequality in the U.S. to better promote those values abroad.
The President-elect announced:
- 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 Adviser
- John Kerry: Special Presidential Envoy for Climate