Things are moving quickly in the White House, transitioning from President Donald Trump to president-elect Joe Biden. With the change of the president, comes a new cabinet, as well as the opportunity for great diversity.
At a press conference Friday, Biden assured leaders of the NAACP that they would be seeing “significant diversity” after some members of the organization and other civil rights groups said they were unhappy with the lack of Black Americans in some of his higher profile cabinet positions so far.
Gonzaga senior Issy Koehler agreed that the accouchement of an all-female communications team was exciting news.
“This team will not only add diverse perspectives to the narrative of the administration but, they will also be key to uniting the county back together,” said Koehler.
Biden is currently checking off assigning roles to the people he had made early promises to, like aides and close advisors. A majority of these officials do not need any sort of U.S. Senate confirmation.
A list of positions that have already been filled or have nominees for is as follows:
Chief of Staff: Ron Klain
Deputy Chief of Staff: Jen O’Malley Dillion
Counselor to the President: Steve Ricchetti
Counselor to the President: Jeff Zients
National Security Adviser: Jae Sullivan
Director, Office of Management and Budget: Neera Tanden, Confirmation Needed
Director, National Economic Council: Brian Deese
Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs: Julie Chavez Rodriguez
Senior Adviser to the President: Mike Donilon
Director, Office of Legislative Affairs: Louisa Terrell
Director, White House Office of Presidential Personnel: Cathy Russell
Counsel to the President: Dana Remus
Communications Director: Kate Bedingfield
Press Secretary: Jen Psaki
Principal Deputy Press Secretary: Karine Jean-Pierre
Chief of Staff for the Vice President: Tina Flournoy
Chief Spokesperson for the Vice President: Symone Sanders
Chief of Staff for the First Lady: Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon
Director, Domestic Policy Council: No Confirmed Person Yet
In terms of economic policy, the United States is in a position that it has not found itself in since the great depression. With the current recession we are experiencing from COVID-19, Biden’s nominees for various economical positions play a crucial role.
The announcement of Janet Yellen as the nominee for Secretary of the Treasury was a historical as well as globally very well received. While this is arguably the largest seat Biden needs to fill for his economic team, all the moving parts need to work well together.
The following positions and their nominees are as follows:
Secretary of the Treasury: Janet Yellen, Confirmation Needed
Deputy Secretary of the Treasury: Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, Confirmation Needed
Chairperson, Council of Economic Advisers: Cecilia Rouse, Confirmation Needed
Member, Council of Economic Advisers: Jared Bernstein
Member, Council of Economic Advisers: Heather Boushey
U.S. Trade Representative: No Confirmed Person Yet
Secretary of Commerce: No Confirmed Person Yet
Chief of Small Business Administration: No Confirmed Person Yet
The issue of national security is also one that many Americans are concerned about, and these following coveted positions are often the talk of many news organizations. The role of members of the national security team are to oversee U.S. intelligence and defense as well as international relations.
The following roles in this sector are as follows:
Secretary of State: Antony Blinken, Confirmation Needed
Secretary of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas, Confirmation Needed
Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines, Confirmation Needed
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate: John Kerry, Confirmation Needed
Ambassador to the United Nations: Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Confirmation Needed
Secretary of Defense: No Confirmed Person Yet
CIA Director: No Confirmed Person Yet
Biden is actively working to remove Trump’s appointees in order to carry out his policy agenda, and as such is looking to build a strong and diverse cabinet as a whole. The following various positions are just as integral to Biden’s success as the previously mentioned ones, and the nominees for each position all have their work cut out for them to reverse the work done by Trump in the last four years.
The positions are as follows:
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Xavier Becerra, Confirmation Needed
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Confirmation Needed
Surgeon General: Dr. Vivek Murthy, Confirmation Needed
Attorney General: No Confirmed Person Yet
Secretary of Labor: No Confirmed Person Yet
Secretary of Transportation: No Confirmed Person Yet
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: No Confirmed Person Yet
Secretary of Agriculture: No Confirmed Person Yet
Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency: No Confirmed Person Yet
Secretary of Interior: No Confirmed Person Yet
Secretary of Interior: No Confirmed Person Yet
Secretary of Energy: No Confirmed Person Yet
Secretary of Veterans Affairs: No Confirmed Person Yet
Secretary of Education: No Confirmed Person Yet
In an opinion article on CNN by Julian Zelizer, he claims it is clear what message Biden is conveying with each cabinet pick. The contrast seen in Biden’s picks compared to those of president Trump’s brings hope for many in a time of dispiritedness.
“Government experience will matter in this administration. Thus far, Biden has put forward an impressive team of advisers with resumes that offer a stark contrast to what we have seen in the past four years,” said Zelizer via the article.