Biden’s Cabinet Nominations
As of March 15, 2021 the Senate has confirmed 17 of the 23 nominations.
Chief of Staff – Ron Klain
No Confirmation Needed
Veteran Democratic lawyer and aide. This is the highest ranking employee of the White House & serves at the pleasure of the president. The responsibilities are both managerial and advisory over the president’s official business.
Secretary of State – Antony Blinken.
Confirmed 1/26/21; Senate vote 78-22
An American government official who served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017 and Deputy National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2015 under President Obama.
Secretary of the Treasury – Janet Yellen.
Confirmed 1/25/21; Senate vote 84-15
First woman to serve as Treasury Secretary. First woman to have served as Chaired the Federal Reserve (2014-2018) and as Vice Chair (2010-2014). President and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. An American economist at the Brookings Institution and a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, having taught economics as a professor for over 20 years from 1985 to 2006
Secretary of Defense – Lloyd Austin.
Confirmed 1/22/21; Senate vote 93-2
First African American to lead the Pentagon. Austin is a former four-star officer who was the first Black general to command an Army division in combat and the first to oversee an entire theater of operations. Austin was approved for a congressional waiver to be confirmed for the civilian post because federal law requires seven years of retirement from active duty before taking on the role. Austin retired from active-duty service only four years ago.
Secretary of Homeland Security – Alejandro Mayorkas.
Confirmed 2/2/21; Senate vote 56-43
Biden: “The son of refugees, Ali will be the first Latino and immigrant to lead the Department of Homeland Security. As Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama, he led the implementation of DACA, enhanced our cybersecurity, and responded to natural disasters and public health threats like Ebola and Zika. He will play a critical role in fixing our broken immigration system and understands that living up to our values and protecting our nation’s security aren’t mutually exclusive—and under his leadership, they’ll go hand-in-hand.”
Attorney General – Merrick Garland.
Confirmed 3/10/21; Senate vote 70-30
Garland has served on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for more than two decades but was denied a chance to sit on the Supreme Court by Senate Republicans, who refused to hold a vote on his nomination. If confirmed, Garland will be handed a number of thorny issues at DOJ, including whether and how to investigate former President Trump.
Secretary of the Interior – Deb Haaland.
Confirmed 3/15/21; Senate vote 51-40
First Native American Cabinet Secretary in US history. In 2018 she was on of the two first female members of Congress. Chair of the Democratic Party in New Mexico (2015-2017). Haaland is an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – Marcia Fudge.
Confirmed 3/10/21; Senate vote 66-34
Director of National Intelligence – Avril Haines.
Confirmed 1/20/21; Senate vote 84-10
Biden: “A consummate national security professional, Avril was the first female Deputy Director of the CIA, and now, she will be the first woman to hold the office of Director of National Intelligence. I’ve worked with her for over a decade. She’s brilliant and humble and will always tell it straight while engaging in this work in a way that reflects our shared values. Under her leadership, our intelligence community will be supported, trusted, and empowered to protect our national security, without being undermined or politicized. We will be safer because of her.”
Secretary of Commerce – Gina Raimondo.
Confirmed 3/2/21; Senate vote 84-15
The Rhode Island governor will preside over a sprawling, diverse department, whose functions include forecasting the weather, managing ocean fisheries and setting international product standards. She will also be landing in the middle of several international trade disputes that were begun under President Donald Trump.
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate – John Kerry. No confirmation needed
Biden: “Secretary Kerry needs no introduction. From signing the Paris Agreement on behalf of the United States as Secretary of State, to forming a bipartisan climate action coalition alongside the next generation of climate activists, his efforts to rally the world to combat climate change have been expansive and relentless. Now, I’ve asked him to return to government to get America back on track to address one of the most urgent national security threats we face—the climate crisis. This role is the first of its kind: the first cabinet-level climate position, and the first time climate change has had a seat at the table on the National Security Council. There could be no one better suited to meet this moment.”
Secretary of Education – Miguel Cardona.
Confirmed 3/1/21; Senate vote 64-33
Cardona, whose parents moved from Puerto Rico to Connecticut, spent his professional career as an educator. The Connecticut Education commissioner worked as an elementary school teacher, principal, district administrator and assistant superintendent, as well as adjunct professor before being named Connecticut’s state chief last year.
Ambassador to the United Nations – Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
Confirmed 2/23/21; Senate vote 78-20
Biden:” As a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield is a distinguished, respected diplomat who has served on four continents. Raised in segregated Louisiana, she follows in a tradition of barrier-breaking African-American diplomats who have dedicated their lives to public service, and brings critical perspective to a role that is more important—and more necessary—than ever before. As UN Ambassador, Linda will renew our relationships with our friends and allies, help revitalize our diplomatic corps and restore America’s reputation on the world stage.”
National Security Advisor – Jake Sullivan.
No confirmation needed
Biden: Jake was my National Security Advisor during my Vice Presidency, and a top advisor on domestic and foreign policy throughout my campaign, including on our strategy for controlling the pandemic. No one has a deeper understanding of the overlapping challenges we face, and how to protect our national security and advance a foreign policy that delivers for the middle class. He will be one of the youngest National Security Advisors in history, and his once-in-a-generation intellect and poise under pressure makes him the ideal choice for one of the toughest jobs in the world.
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency – Michael S. Regan.
Confirmed 3/10/21; Senate vote 66-34
First African American man to lead the EPA. Regan previously served as the secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality. He led the Environmental Defense Fund’s efforts to combat the impacts of the climate crisis and air pollution, and worked at the EPA during the Clinton and Bush administrations.