Nov. 3, 2020 and Forward

The Cabinet of the Biden-Harris Administration

The Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he or she may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.

President Joe Biden’s Cabinet includes Vice President Kamala Harris and the heads of the 15 executive departments

In order of succession to the Presidency:

Vice President – Kamala Harris

“My mother would look at me and she’d say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.’”

Kamala Harris, January 28, 2019

Kamala Devi Harris is an American politician and attorney who is the 49th and current vice president of the United States. She is the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African American and first Asian American vice president.

A member of the Democratic Party, she served as a United States senator from California from 2017 to 2021, and as the attorney general of California from 2011 to 2017.

As a senator, she advocated for healthcare reform, federal de-scheduling of cannabis, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the DREAM Act, a ban on assault weapons, and progressive tax reform. She gained a national profile for her pointed questioning of Trump administration officials during Senate hearings, including Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault.

Secretary of State – Antony Blinken

“Those who ignore history are condemned to retweet it.” 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

“Productivity depends on many factors, including our workforce’s knowledge and skills and the quantity and quality of the capital, technology, and infrastructure that they have to work with.” 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.

“There is little about what the Department does to defend the American people that is not affected by climate change. It is a national security issue, and we must treat it as such.” 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.

Attorney General – Merrick Garland

Transparency in government, no less than transparency in choosing government, remains a vital national interest in a democracy. 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 one 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 Agriculture – Tom Vilsack

Confirmed 2/23/21; Senate vote 92-7

Vilsack grew up in Pittsburgh and was trained as a lawyer but became acquainted with agriculture as Iowa’s governor from 1999 to 2007. Vilsack now returns to an agency he helmed for eight years as Barack Obama’s agriculture secretary.

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.

Secretary of Labor – Marty Walsh

Confirmed 3/22/21; Senate vote 68-29

Marty Walsh served as the mayor of Boston from 2014 until 2021, when he resigned to take the role of Secretary of Labor under President Joe Biden.  Prior to serving as mayor, Walsh joined the Laborers’ Union Local 223 at age 21 and served as the union’s president until he became the mayor of Boston. During this time, he was elected a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, representing the Thirteenth Suffolk district from 1997 until 2014.

Secretary of Health and Human Services – Xavier Vecerra

Confirmed 3/18/21; Senate vote 50-49

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – Marcia Fudge. 

Confirmed 3/10/21; Senate vote 66-34

Fudge represented Ohio’s 11th Congressional District since 2008. She previously chaired the Congressional Black Caucus. Prior to running for Congress, Fudge made history as the first woman and first African American to be elected mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio.

Secretary of Transportation – Pete Buttigieg

Confirmed 2/2/21; Senate vote 86-13

Buttigieg was the 32nd mayor of South Bend, Indiana from 2012 to 2020.

Secretary of Energy – Jennifer Granholm

Confirmed 2/25/21; Senate vote 64-35

 

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.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs – Denis McDonough

Confirmed 2/8/21; Senate vote 87-7

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.”

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.

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.”

United States Trade Representative – Katherine Tai

Confirmed 2/2/21; Senate vote 56-43

 

 

Ambassador to the United Nations – Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Confirmed 2/23/21; Senate vote 78-20

President 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.”

Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers – Dr. Cecilia Rouse

Confirmed 3/2/21; Senate vote 95-4

Administrator of the Small Business Administration – Isabel Guzman

Confirmed 3/16/21; Senate vote 81-17

 

 

 

Presidential Science Adviser and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy – Dr. Eric Lander

Confirmed 5/28/21; Senate vote: Voice Vote

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.

Other Executive Office Positions

Special Presidential Envoy for ClimateJohn 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.”

On November 23, 2020, President-elect Joe Biden announced former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, would serve as the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and would be a member of the United States National Security Council (NSC).

The National Security Council is the President’s principal forum for national security and foreign policy decision making with his or her senior national security advisors and cabinet officials, and the President’s principal arm for coordinating these policies across federal agencies. The NSC is chaired by the President.

Nov. 7, 2020 – President-Elect Joe Biden; VP Elect Kamala Harris

Nov. 7, 2020 President-Elect Joe Biden Victory Speech President-Elect Joe Biden:          “Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end here and now” Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris: Harris celebrated the groundbreaking nature of her victory, too: “Every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”