- The DaVinci
A Look at President Joe Biden’s Cabinet - and it’s Diverse Members (Updated 3/17)
Updated: Oct 26, 2021
(Last updated February 12th)
(THE DAVINCI-CHARLOTTESVILLE) - Ever since first-round election results arrived in early November, a steady stream of announcements about Joe Biden’s cabinet appointments have surfaced in the news. In addition to the ground-breaking appointment of vice president Kamala Harris, this diverse cabinet goes against several norms set by President Trump, and works to create a bipartisan environment in the White House. If their nominations are approved by Congress, here’s who we could see in Joe Biden’s cabinet this presidency.
Age Range: 38-77 years
Gender Ratio: 14 Men, 11 Women
Six Key Players:
Secretary of Defense: Gen. Lloyd Austin III (67)
First African American to lead the defense department.
A West Point graduate, Austin served in the U.S. army from 1975 to 2016, fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Faced confirmation hearings on January 19th
Secretary of State: Anthony Blinken (58)
From 2009-2013, Blinken served as National Security Advisor to the Vice President, and was later nominated Deputy Secretary of State. Before that, he was a member of the National Security Council staff under the Clinton Administration, and went on to be director of the Senate Foreign Relations committee until 2008.
Faced confirmation hearings on January 19th
Secretary of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas (61)
First Latino and first immigrant to serve in this position.
Mayorkas served as Assistant United States Attorney in California for several years, and was later nominated by Clinton to assume the position of United States Attorney. From 2013-2016, Mayorkas served as the Deputy Director of Homeland Security.
Secretary of the Treasury: Janet Yellen (74)
First woman to serve in this position.
Under Clinton: Yellen served as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors from 1997-1999, and would later go on to serve as president of the Western Economic Association International. Under Obama, Yellen would be the vice president and later president of the Federal Reserve.
Attorney General: Merrick Garland (68)
Garland has served as Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since his appointment by Bill Clinton in 1997. He was Chief Judge of the Circuit from 2013-2020.
Garland was passed up for a Supreme Court Position when the Obama term ended. The spot was quickly filled by Niel Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee, in 2016.
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate: John Kerry (77)
Kerry will serve in this newly created position, which does not require a Congressional appointment. The position will focus on climate change and its relations to national security.
Kerry served for several years in the U.S. navy during the Vietnam War. After returning home, he spent the early 1970’s campaigning on anti-war activism and calling for the end of the conflict. He later ran for both Congressional and Senate seats, and served in the Senate from 1985 to 2013. He ran for president in 2004, but lost to George W. Bush.
Other Cabinet Positions:
Secretary of Agriculture: Tom Vilsack (age 70)
After serving as Governor of Iowa, Vilsack attempted to run for president in 2008, but dropped out before the end of the primaries. He later served as Secretary of Agriculture under Obama, and would reprise the role if appointed by Congress.
Secretary of Commerce: Gina Raimondo (Age 49)
Raimondo has served as both the 75th Governor of Rhode Island and the 30th General Treasurer of the same state. A graduate of Yale Law School, Raimondo could lead the Department of Commerce, which promotes economic growth.
Secretary of Education: Miguel Cardona (45)
First Latino to head the department of education.
Cardona began his career as a 4th grade teacher in Connecticut, though we would later be an elementary school principal for 10 years. He was later appointed to be the Commissioner of Education for the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Secretary of Energy: Jennifer Granholm (61)
A graduate of both Berkeley and Harvard University, Granholm went on to be elected Attorney General of Michigan and would serve to terms as Governor of the state.
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Xavier Becerra (62)
Beginning in 2017, Becerra served as the 33rd Attorney General of California, after spending 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Marcia Fudge (68)
Fudge has represented Ohio’s 11th district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2008, and she served as mayor of the town of Warrensville Heights from 2000-2008.
Secretary of the Interior: Deb Haaland (60)
First Native American to be appointed to a cabinet position.
Haaland served as the chair of the New Mexico Democratic party from 2015 to 2017, and has represented the 1st district of New Mexico in the House of Representatives since 2019.
Secretary of Labor: Marty Walsh (53)
Walsh represented the 13th district of Massachusetts in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, and has been serving as Governor of Boston since 2014.
Secretary of Transportation: Pete Buttigieg (38)
First openly gay member of a President’s cabinet.
After gaining national attention in the 2020 democratic primary, Pete Buttigieg was selected by Biden to serve as secretary of Transportation. Buttigieg was a member of the United States Navy for eight years, and has since served as the mayor of Southbend, Indiana.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Denis McDonough (51)
McDonough has held a variety of political positions since 2010. He was the Deputy National Security Advisor under Obama from 2010-2013, and later served as White House Chief of Staff.
U.S. Trade Representative: Katherine Tai (45)
First woman of color to hold this position.
Tai spent seven years serving in the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and has worked with the World Trade Organization.
Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors: Cecilia Rouse (57)
After earning her doctorate, Rouse joined the faculty of Princeton University, going on to be the Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs. She served as a member of the Council of Economic Advisors during the Obama presidency, and would take the lead role in the group if approved by Congress.
Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Neera Tanden (50)
Tanden has been the president of the Center for American Progress since 2003, an organization which conducts public policy research and focuses on social and economic issues. She also held a deputy position in the Health and Human Services Department under Obama, and helped lead several presidential campaigns.
White House Climate Coordinator: Gina McCarthy (66)
Along with the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, this new position will focus on the environment and act as an advisory position to the President.
McCarthy notable climate related roles include: Administrator of the EPA under Obama, directing the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard, and serving as President of the National Resources Defense Council in 2020.
Deputy Director of the CIA: David S. Cohen (58)
Cohen held this position under Obama, from 2015-17. He also served as Assistant Secretary of Terrorist Financing (Treasury Department) and Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in the same department.
National Security Advisor: Jake Sullivan (44)
Sullivan graduated from Yale University in 1998, and received a Rhodes Scholarship. He studied in the United Kingdom, and eventually came back to major in law at Yale. He later served as Director of Policy Planning under Obama, and later acted as National Security Advisor to the Vice President (position previously held by Blinken).
Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines (51)
First woman to serve in this position.
Haines served as Deputy Director of the CIA from 2013-2015 (first woman to serve in this position), and as Deputy Counsel to the President for National Security Affairs under Obama.
Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency: Michael Regan (44)
First African American to act as administrator.
Regan served as an EPA environmental regulator during the Clinton and Bush administrations. He was also appointed to be the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality in 2017.
UN Ambassador: Linda Thomas-Greenfield (67)
Thomas-Greenfield has held foreign positions in Switzerland, Pakistan, Kenya, the Gambia, and more. Under Obama, she served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. She also acted as Director General of the U.S. Foreign Service from 2012 to 2013.