As US President-elect Joe Biden is getting ready to take oath of office, he has named his cabinet members.
His cabinet includes the vice president and the heads of 15 executive departments — the secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs, as well as the attorney general.
While the president may nominate the team that he wants to serve in his Cabinet, the Senate must vote to confirm those nominations.
Biden nominated his longtime confidant Antony John Blinken as Secretary of State. A senior government official and diplomat, he has served as Deputy National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2015 and Deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017 under President Barack Obama. Blinken spent a six-year term in the Senate as one of Biden’s top aides. He worked for Biden in 2002 as the Democratic staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Biden was the senior Democrat on the committee from 1997 until he became vice president in 2009.
Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Defense is Lloyd James Austin III. He is a retired four-star army general who served as the 12th commander of United States Central Command. Austin was the first black commander of CENTCOM. On December 8, 2020, Biden nominated him as Secretary of Defense. Austin, who oversaw US forces in the Middle East under Obama, would be the first Black US secretary of defense if the Senate confirms him. He retired in 2016 and would need a waiver from Congress to take the post, as he has been out of the military less than the required seven years.
Biden named Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security. He was born in Cuba and raised in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and Loyola Law School. He served as US Attorney for the Central District of California during the Clinton administration. If confirmed, he will be the first Latino and first immigrant to head the department. As head of Citizenship and Immigration Services under Obama, Mayorkas led implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme for “Dreamers” – people who were brought to the United States as children.