Biden’s Cabinet: Who has been named for White House and New Administration
Clockwise from top left: Anthony Blinken, Janet Yellen, Jake Sullivan, Avril Haines, Alejandro Mayorkas, John Kerry and Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Who are Joe Biden's top cabinet picks?

Profiles of the people expected to take key posts in the Biden administration.

In his latest selection, Biden tapped Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., to lead the Department of Transportation. Buttigieg has not previously served in federal office but gained national prominence during his presidential bid in the 2020 Democratic primaries. If confirmed, he will be the first openly LGBTQ person to serve in a permanent Cabinet role, NPR reported.

"Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation," Biden said in a statement.

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Pete Buttigieg Photo: AP

"This position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us. Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better. I trust Mayor Pete to lead this work with focus, decency, and a bold vision — he will bring people together to get big things done."

Biden's cabinet picks for White House

As Biden begins to act on some of his early promises, he is naming close advisers and aides to work with him in the White House — people who will run operations and brief him on top matters of national security, the economy and other key issues. Most of these officials do not need U.S. Senate confirmation. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and soon-to-be first lady Jill Biden also are naming their top aides.

Key White House Staff

Chief of Staff: Ron Klain

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Joe Biden and Ron Klain Photo: NPR

The position: Sets overall direction of the White House on behalf of the president.

Ron Klain is a lawyer and longtime aide to President-elect Joe Biden, repeatedly serving with him during Biden’s tenure in the Obama administration, the Senate and past presidential campaigns. Klain notably worked as Biden’s first chief of staff when he was vice president, then oversaw the White House response to the Ebola epidemic in 2014. Outside of government, Klain was the executive vice president and general counsel for the investment firm Revolution.

"Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014," Biden said in a statement.

Deputy Chief of Staff: Jen O'Malley Dillon

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Photo: Glamour

The position: Helps run day-to-day operations of the White House staff.

Jen O'Malley Dillon joined Biden's campaign in March after managing Beto O'Rourke's primary bid. She is a veteran of seven presidential campaigns and a former executive director of the Democratic National Committee.

Counselor to the President: Steve Ricchetti

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Photo: Conservativedailynews

The position: Provides strategic advice to the president.

Steve Ricchetti was Biden's second chief of staff when Biden was vice president. A longtime aide to Biden, Ricchetti was a deputy chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton. During the George W. Bush era, Ricchetti worked as a lobbyist.

Counselor to the President: Jeff Zients

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Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty Images

The position: Coordinates the COVID-19 response on vaccines and other issues with agencies, and state and local governments.

Jeff Zients was a top economic official in the Obama White House. He is known for leading efforts to fix the website. Since then, he has been CEO of investment firm Cranemere and had been on Facebook's board of directors.

National Security Adviser: Jake Sullivan

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Photo: Politico

The position: Top adviser to the president on national security policy and related decisions.

Jake Sullivan was national security adviser to Biden during the Obama administration. He was also deputy chief of staff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sullivan was a lead negotiator in talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal.

Director, Office of Management and Budget: Neera Tanden

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Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The position: Prepares the administration's budget proposal to Congress; reviews all regulations proposed by agencies.

Neera Tanden is the CEO of the Center for American Progress, a Democratic-leaning think tank. Tanden played a senior role at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration, working on the Affordable Care Act. She was a campaign adviser to Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Director, National Economic Council: Brian Deese

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Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The position: Top adviser to the president on economic policy and related decisions.

Brian Deese was deputy director of the National Economic Council, a top official at the Office of Management and Budget, and climate adviser in the Obama White House. Since then, he has worked at BlackRock as the global head of sustainable investing.

Director, Domestic Policy Council: Susan Rice

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Photo: Johannes Eisele /AFP via Getty Images

The position: Top adviser to the president on domestic policy and related decisions.

Susan Rice was former President Barack Obama's ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013 and then became his national security adviser. Rice also had a senior role in the State Department during the Clinton administration. She has served on the board of directors at Netflix since 2018.

Director, Office of Public Engagement: Cedric Richmond

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Photo: CNN

The position: Provides coordination between the White House and organizations, coalitions and other public groups.

Cedric Richmond is a five-term Louisiana congressman and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. He served on multiple committees and worked on criminal justice reform legislation. Richmond co-chaired Biden's campaign. He will serve as a senior adviser to Biden in addition to being director of the Office of Public Engagement.

Senior Adviser to the President: Mike Donilon

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Photo: Nbcwashington

The position: Top adviser to the president, overseeing a wide range of policy and related decisions.

Mike Donilon was Biden's chief strategist during Biden's presidential campaign, where he led speechwriting, advertising and polling. He also worked as a counselor to Biden when Biden was vice president. Donilon has been part of six presidential campaigns and more than 25 congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral races.

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate: John Kerry

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John Kerry holds his granddaughter as he signs the Paris Agreement on climate change in April 2016. Kerry has been chosen as climate envoy in the incoming Biden administration. Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

The position: Senior adviser to the president on climate-related policy and decisions, elevated to be part of the National Security Council.

John Kerry was a secretary of state to Obama and was an architect of the Paris climate accord. A former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry was also a U.S. senator from Massachusetts for 28 years.

Director, Office of Legislative Affairs: Louisa Terrell

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Photo: Inhousecommunityus

The position: Provides coordination between the White House and Congress.

Louisa Terrell worked on legislative affairs in the Obama White House. She earlier worked with Biden during his time as a U.S. senator, serving as his deputy chief of staff. Terrell has also worked for consultants McKinsey and Co., Yahoo! and Facebook.

Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs: Julie Chávez Rodriguez

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Photo: Tehachapinews

The position: Provides coordination between the White House and state and local governments.

Julie Chávez Rodriguez worked as Biden's deputy campaign manager. Earlier, she was national political director for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' presidential bid. Rodriguez had a senior role on the Obama White House's public engagement team.

Director, White House Office of Presidential Personnel: Cathy Russell

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Photo: Bloomberg

The position: Top aide and adviser to the president on presidential appointments.

Cathy Russell was a State Department ambassador on global women's issues in the Obama administration. She previously worked as Jill Biden's chief of staff and in senior positions at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Judiciary Committee and Justice Department.

Counsel to the President: Dana Remus

Updates on Biden’s Cabinet: Here's who has been named so far
Photo: Abajournal

The position: Top legal adviser to the president.

Dana Remus was the general counsel to Biden's presidential campaign. She has also served as the general counsel for the Obama Foundation. In the Obama White House, she was deputy counsel for ethics. She previously taught law at the University of North Carolina School of Law and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Communications Director: Kate Bedingfield

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Photo: Nbcnews

The position: Leads the White House public relations team.

The nominee: Kate Bedingfield was Biden's communications director and deputy campaign manager during his campaign. She was his communications director in the Obama White House. Previously Bedingfield worked for the Motion Picture Association of America.

Press Secretary: Jen Psaki

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Photo: Greekcitytimes

The position: Speaks on behalf of the president with the media; provides briefings

Jen Psaki is a member of Biden's presidential transition team. She previously served in the Obama administration as communications director and as the spokesperson for the State Department. Psaki also worked on both of Obama's presidential campaigns as well as John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

Chief of Staff for the Vice President: Tina Flournoy

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Photo: Madison365

The position: Sets overall direction for the vice president's team.

Tina Flournoy was chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton. She has held a series of positions in the Democratic Party since the Clinton administration, and also held a senior position at the American Federation of Teachers union.

Chief Spokesperson for the Vice President: Symone Sanders

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Photo: Klkntv

The position: Speaks on behalf of the vice president with the media.

Symone Sanders was a senior adviser for Biden's campaign. She previously was press secretary for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. Before working for the Biden campaign she worked at the 360 Group, an executive search firm.

Chief of Staff for the First Lady: Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon

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Photo: Columbia News

The position: Helps the first lady set and carry out her policy agenda.

Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon was U.S. ambassador to Uruguay as well as the deputy assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere during the Obama administration. She is a partner at the law firm Winston & Strawn.

Biden's cabinet picks for Economic policy

As the U.S. continues to fight through a recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, increased focus will be on whom Biden picks to lead his economic, financial and trade policies. Many of these nominees will play crucial roles in determining further coronavirus relief aid. These positions must be confirmed by the Senate.

Secretary of the Treasury: Janet Yellen

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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The position: Advises on economic policy and the financial system

Janet Yellen was chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018. She was also chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration. Yellen was the first woman to run the Federal Reserve, and if confirmed, would be the first woman to run the Treasury Department.

Chairperson, Council of Economic Advisers: Cecilia Rouse

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Photo: Planetprinceton

The position: Advises the president on economic policy.

Cecilia Rouse is a labor economist and the dean of Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs. Rouse served as a member of the CEA during the Obama administration and was part of the National Economic Council during the Clinton administration. If confirmed, Rouse would be the first African American to chair the CEA.

U.S. Trade Representative: Katherine Tai

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Photo: Straitstimes

The position: Advises on trade policy and negotiates trade deals.

Katherine Tai is the chief trade counsel for the House Committee on Ways and Means. She was previously a senior member of the Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. trade representative during the Obama administration, responsible for China trade enforcement issues. If confirmed, Tai will be the first woman of color to hold this position.

Biden's cabinet picks for National security

Biden will also nominate officials to lead the federal government's domestic and international security efforts. These officials will oversee U.S. intelligence and defense as well as spearhead relations with world leaders and international coalitions. All of these officials must also be confirmed by the Senate, with the exception of the new climate position in the National Security Council.

Secretary of State: Antony Blinken

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Photo: ABC News

The position: Leads foreign policy, diplomacy for the president around the world.

Antony Blinken was deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama adminstration. Blinken also advised Biden on national security when he was vice president. The two worked together when Biden served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Secretary of Defense: Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin

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Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP

The position: Advises the president on national defense and oversees the U.S. military.

Lloyd Austin is a retired U.S. Army four-star general who served in the military for 41 years. From 2013 until 2016, he was head of U.S. Central Command. If confirmed, Austin will be the first African American secretary of defense.

Secretary of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas

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Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

The position: Advises the president on security issues within the United States. In charge of immigration and border-related issues; the Coast Guard; the Federal Emergency Management Agency; counterterrorism; aviation security and cybersecurity.

Alejandro Mayorkas was deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during Obama's second term. Earlier, he was Obama's director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2009 to 2013. If confirmed, Mayorkas would be the first immigrant and Latino to hold the position.

Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines

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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The position: Leads the intelligence community across 17 agencies and organizations and advises the president on national security issues.

Avril Haines was Obama's principal deputy national security adviser and deputy director of the CIA. She worked for Biden when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Haines would be the first woman to head national intelligence.

Ambassador to the United Nations: Linda Thomas-Greenfield

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Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The position: Represents the president at the United Nations. Advises on international affairs.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a career diplomat with more than three decades of experience. She was the assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs and as the U.S. ambassador to Liberia among many other postings.

Additional members of Biden's Cabinet

Biden will overhaul departments to remove Trump appointees and nominate officials who will carry out his policy agenda. These officials require Senate confirmation.

Secretary of Health and Human Services: Xavier Becerra

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Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty Images

The position: Advises on health policy. Oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health, among other divisions.

Xavier Becerra is California's attorney general and a former congressman. He led a coalition of states in a legal defense of the Affordable Care Act in the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Becerra will be the first Latino to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Marcia Fudge

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Photo: J.Scott Applewhite/AP

The position: Advises on housing policy, focused on improving housing affordability and accessibility. Oversees mortgage and loan insurance through the Federal Housing Administration.

U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio has served in the House of Representatives since 2008 and is a member of several committees. She is a past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Fudge is also a former mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio.

Secretary of Agriculture: Tom Vilsack

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Photo: Sierraclub

The position: Advises on food production and agricultural issues and oversees food assistance programs.

Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, was secretary of agriculture during both terms of the Obama administration. Since then, he has been CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Denis McDonough

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Photo: Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summi

The position: Advises on federal government services for veterans, including health care and financial and educational benefits.

Denis McDonough was chief of staff to former President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017 and previously was Obama's principal deputy national security adviser. Earlier, he was a senior staff member in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Secretary of Transportation: Pete Buttigieg

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Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP

The position: Advises on transportation policy. Oversees regulators for aviation, highways, railways, pipelines and others.

Pete Buttigieg was the mayor of South Bend, Ind., from 2012 to 2020. He ran in the 2020 Democratic primaries and endorsed Biden after withdrawing in March. Buttigieg was an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2014. Buttigieg would be the first openly LGBTQ person in U.S. history to have a permanent Cabinet role.

Other nominees

These officials will work on Biden's push to roll back Trump administration policies on immigration and climate as well as help with the coronavirus response. Most of these officials for key agencies must also receive Senate confirmation.

Deputy Secretary of the Treasury: Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo

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Photo: Meikmag

The position: Works directly with the Secretary of Treasury, assisting with economic policy and the financial system.

Wally Adeyemo is the president of the Obama Foundation. He was senior international economic adviser in the Obama White House, and was the first chief of staff for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Adeyemo would be the first African American deputy secretary at the Treasury Department.

Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Dr. Rochelle Walensky

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Photo: CNN

The position: Oversees federal efforts to protect against and respond to public health threats.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky is chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is an expert on virus testing, prevention and treatment.

Surgeon General: Dr. Vivek Murthy

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Photo: Indiaonlinenews

The position: Providing public health information and advice. Oversees the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

Dr. Vivek Murthy was Surgeon General during the Obama administration. He is a physician and research scientist and has advised Biden on COVID-19 issues.

Member, Council of Economic Advisers: Jared Bernstein

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Photo: Msmnyc

The position: Advises the president on economic policy.

Jared Bernstein was Biden's chief economist in the Obama White House. A former social worker, Bernstein is a senior fellow at the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think-tank.
Member, Council of Economic Advisers: Heather Boushey

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Photo: Bloomberg

The position: Advises the president on economic policy.

Heather Boushey is a longtime economic adviser to Biden. She is the CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a nonprofit research group. She also worked for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

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