Biden Starts White House and Cabinet Picks

Washington: President-elect Joe Biden has initiated plans to fill his administration, naming the people he plans to tap for senior White House positions and cabinet slots.

President-elect Joe Biden rolled out a national security team steeped in government experience on Monday, announcing his intent to nominate the first woman to oversee the country’s intelligence community and the first Latino to lead the Department of Homeland Security.

Biden’s transition team said in a statement revealing the president-elect’s first cabinet selections that he would nominate Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban-American and former deputy DHS secretary, to lead the department.

He picked Avril Haines, the former deputy CIA director, as his director of national intelligence, the first woman to ever hold that position.

Biden also said that long-time diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be nominated to serve as his ambassador to the United Nations, with status as a cabinet member.

Jake Sullivan, who was a security aide to Biden when he was vice president, was appointed White House national security advisor.

Kerry, who was secretary of state from 2013 to 2017 and signed the Paris climate accord in 2015 on behalf of the United States — only to see President Donald Trump withdraw from it — will be made a member of the national security council, the first time the council has had a specialist on climate change, Biden’s office said.

“These individuals are equally as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative,” he said.