Who’s in the Cabinet?

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“The faces of Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees.” (photo credit: Politico, Getty images, AP)

Moesha Aplicano-Burnham, Managing Editor

The results of the 2020 election have been controversial and messy to say the least. Many changes will be made as the country transitions between presidents. One significant change, other than having a new president, is the new presidential cabinet. Those who are in the cabinet have the job of advising the president in their specific department. 

The current nominees are experienced individuals who President-elect Joe Biden has selected. Starting with Secretary of Defense, General Lloyd J. Austin III is nominated for the position. He is a retired US army general, and if he is confirmed, will be the first black man holding the position of Secretary of Defense.

For secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken is nominated. He was formerly Deputy National Security Advisor, and is now nominated for secretary of state, which means he could potentially be in charge of helping the president with foreign affairs and policies.

Xavier Becerra is nominated for the position of secretary of health and human services. He is the Democratic general of California. If he is confirmed as the HHS secretary, his job will be to advise the president on matters relating to health, welfare, and income for the US.

The National security nominee is Jake Sullivan, who is now an American government official. He is a democrat who got his education at the ivy league school, Yale University.

The job of the UN Ambassador, or Ambassador to the United nation, is to advise the president on national affairs, maintaining peace and national security. The nominee for this position is Linda Thomas-Greenfield. Thomas Greenfield previously held the position of Assistant Secretary of state for African affairs, making her well suited for the job.

Katherine Tai previously worked as an attorney, but is now the nominee for the position of the US trade representative. Her job may include advising the president on managing investments and matters regarding foreign trade.

The Director of the White House domestic policy council is responsible for supervising and coordinating the domestic policy in the White House. The domestic policy is responsible for the events that happen within the country. Susan Rice was formerly the UN Ambassador for the US, and is now a nominee for the position of the director of the white house domestic policy counsel.

The secretary of veterans affairs nominee is Denis McDonough, he was formerly the White House’s chief of staff. If McDonough is confirmed, his job will relate to veterans benefits and healthcare.

John F. Kerry is nominated for Special presidential envoy for climate. His job will involve decision making and organizing in regard to climate change. Kerry was formerly secretary of state, and also a former naval officer. He served from 1966-1978.

The nominee for Treasury Secretary is Janet L. Yellen. Yellen was formerly chair of the federal reserve. She also attended both Brown University and Yale University. The Treasury Secretary is the advisor to both the president and the cabinet on economic issues.

The Director of National Intelligence is in charge of managing the national intelligence program. The national intelligence program works with intelligence activities, including the CIA. The nominee for this position is Avril D. Haines, a lawyer and former government official.

Alejandro N. Mayorkas is nominated for the position of Secretary of Homeland Security. Mayorkas was formerly a lawyer and government official. He received his education from Loyola Law School. As Secretary of Homeland Security, Mayorkas will be in charge of things such as border security, counterterrorism, and the protection of critical infrastructure.

Marcia L. Fudge is nominated for secretary of housing and urban development. Her job may include advising the president on matters involving housing, also maintaining certain programs regarding housing and their employees.

Secretary of agriculture nominee is Tom Vilsack, who previously served in the same position in 2009-2017. Vilsack was previously a lawyer and government official as well.

Neera Tanden is nominated for the position of office management and budget. Tanden was previously a political consultant, and is currently the president for The Center of American Progress.

Since the cabinet’s job is to advise the president, who he picks is important because these are the people that could end up helping make very important decisions. President elect Joe Biden has chosen the people he believes are best suited for the job, although this doesn’t mean that they are exempt from criticism, or controversy.