Obama redux: Biden fills team with 6 officials from last Democrat administration

The prospective nominees that have been announced are foreign policy and national security positions.

Published: November 24, 2020 1:34pm

Updated: November 24, 2020 11:45pm

Joe Biden has named a group of Obama-era officials for top foreign policy and national security positions in his prospective administration.

The former vice president intends to nominate Tony Blinken, who was deputy secretary of state under former President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2017, as secretary of state.

Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary of homeland security from 2013 to 2016, is Biden's choice for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas would be the first Hispanic to serve in the position if confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Biden expects to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She served as assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the Obama administration from 2013 to 2017.

Avril Haines, deputy national security advisor from 2015 to 2017, is the Biden pick for director of national intelligence. She would be the first woman to hold the position if confirmed. 

The U.N. ambassador, secretary of state, homeland security secretary and director of national intelligence positions are subject to U.S. Senate confirmation. Currently, the GOP has 50 seats in the Senate for the next session of Congress, and the Democrats have 48. The results of the two Georgia runoff elections will determine which party controls the chamber next year.

John Kerry, former secretary of state from 2013 to 2017 under Obama, has been named to fill a newly created role as U.S. special presidential envoy for climate. Biden's transition team has said this cabinet-level position will not face a Senate confirmation process.

Jake Sullivan served as national security advisor to then-Vice President Biden from 2013 to 2014. Sullivan has been named as prospective national security advisor in a Biden administration. This position currently does not require Senate approval.

California Sen. Kamala Harris said on Tuesday that Biden has selected a "cabinet that looks like America."

After announcing his picks on Tuesday, Biden did not take questions from the reporters who were shouting them from the audience. 

"It is a team that reflects the fact that America is back," Biden said of his selections. "Ready to lead the world, not retreat from it." 

Biden is reportedly considering Janet Yellen as treasury secretary, but it has not been announced yet. Yellen was the former chair of the Federal Reserve under Obama from 2014-2018.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

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