By Dylan Miller
On November 17, Joe Biden announced his candidates to be his senior White House staff members. Cedric Richmond, who is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in Louisiana, will be the leader of the White House Office of Public Engagement. This position will give him “broad reach to help advance Biden’s agenda across the federal government and to work with state and local governments, and also as a “point of entry” for outside groups,” like Mike Memoli of NBC News said. Jen O’Malley Dillon will be serving as White House Deputy Chief of Staff, and Steve Ricchetti, who served as Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden under the Obama administration, will serve as the Counselor to the President. In addition, attorney Mike Donilon will be senior advisor. Donilon has been chief strategist for Biden’s campaign against Trump.
Anthony Bernal, “who was deputy campaign manager and chief of staff to Jill Biden and became a trusted adviser to both Bidens in the Obama administration,” said Memoli, will serve as senior advisor to First Lady-elect Biden. Former United States Ambassador of Uruguay in South America Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon will serve as Chief of Staff to the First Lady.
Chosen to be Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs is Julie Rodriguez, granddaughter of Latin American civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. Annie Tomasini, “who served as Biden’s traveling chief of staff in the campaign after more than a decade in various roles with the president-elect,” said Memoli, will be in charge of Operations of the Oval Office. Dana Remus, general counsel for Biden’s campaign, will be the White House Counsel. Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain will be White House Chief of Staff.
On November 23, Biden announced his Cabinet picks. Tony Blinken, 18th United States Deputy Secretary of State, will be Secretary of State at Biden’s side. 6th United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will be the Secretary of Homeland Security, replacing Chad Wolf. 18th Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be nominated as United States Ambassador to the United Nations. John Kerry, 68th United States Secretary of State, will serve as U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. Christina Wilkie of CNBC stated that Biden “will place the post within the National Security Council, the first time a high-level envoy for climate has been formally part of the NSC.” Avril Haines, former Deputy National Security Advisor, will serve as Director of National Intelligence. She will be the first woman to lead the CIA. Jake Sullivan will be appointed as National Security Advisor under Biden’s administration. President-elect Biden also announced that 15th Chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen will be nominated as Treasury Secretary.
After weeks of delay, Biden and his team have finally gained clearance of funds for his transition plans, as well as access to important government documents and departments. The Wall Street Journal reported that “the General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy, who had been formally holding up the transition for more than two weeks citing uncertainty in the results, said Monday that her agency would provide Mr. Biden federal resources meant to assist in a smooth transfer of power.” On November 24, Biden held a news conference introducing some of his Cabinet picks to the American people.