What could Joe Biden's first cabinet look like?

Politico has developed a comprehensive list for the cabinet positions; we have highlighted a few of the key ones – many of which may go to women.

Democratic 2020 US presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife Jill, and Democratic 2020 US vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and her husband Doug, celebrate with family at their election rally, November 7, 2020 (photo credit: ANDREW HARNIK/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Democratic 2020 US presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife Jill, and Democratic 2020 US vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and her husband Doug, celebrate with family at their election rally, November 7, 2020
(photo credit: ANDREW HARNIK/POOL VIA REUTERS)
President-elect Joe Biden announced his intention to focus his administration on healing the United States, both from its internal divisions and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A team to help combat the coronavirus is on the way, and Biden is expected to announce names on Monday. But healing internal divisions is a task that requires a broad, diverse and effective presidential cabinet. But who will America's presumptive 46th president choose?
Politico has developed a comprehensive list for the cabinet positions. We have highlighted a few of the key ones.
Of these eight positions, four are considered as pegged to be filled by women (Treasury, UN, EPA and Education), women are the front runners in another two (State and Defense) and a woman is second up for another one (Justice). Only Homeland Security is expected to be given to a man, although he may have an uphill confirmation battle.

State: The top diplomat position is expected to go to Susan Rice.
With experience as Obama's national security advisor and the former US ambassador to the UN, she has a wide range of experience perfect for serving as the top US diplomat.
A few other names heard include senators Chris Coons (Delaware) and Chris Murphy (Connecticut), as well as Obama's deputy secretary of state William Burns.

Defense: The main name being offered here is Michele Flournoy. Former undersecretary of defense under Obama, she has management experience and has been active in finding blueprints to help the Pentagon outpace China technologically.
Other names tossed around for the post are Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, both of whom have military experience, with Duckworth even having lost her legs in Iraq.
However, Flournoy is being pegged as the likely choice.

Treasury: While many have pegged noted progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the post, it is unlikely the Republican-controlled Senate would let that pass.
A more likely candidate seems to be Lael Brainard, governor of the Federal Reserve, who has served in the position throughout the coronavirus pandemic and in the Treasury Department under Obama, though former deputy Treasury secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin has also been considered.
If one of these three women are chosen, she would be the first women in the position.

Justice: Alabama Sen. Doug Jones seems to be Biden's top choice to lead the Justice Department.
Serving as US attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Jones led the prosecution of two Klu Klux Klan members who bombed a Black church in Birmingham back in 1963 - the two were tried and convicted for their crimes in 2003, 40 years later.
While Jones' proven track record for defending civil rights will be an asset amid the racial turmoil gripping the nation, he is likely to have stiff competition, including former deputy attorney-general in the Obama administration Sally Yates, who also made her mark defending civil rights while refusing to sign the executive order banning Muslims from entering the US from several Arabic countries. She was later fired by Trump for her dissidence.

Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas, former deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration, stands to be the first Latino to lead the Homeland Security department, if confirmed by the Republican Senate. Mayorkas was responsible for implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program while director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) – a program which was categorically opposed by Republican congressmen at the time.
No Republicans voted to confirm him as deputy secretary in 2013, which looks to be an indicator for an uphill battle for the top position within the department. Mayorkas will also come under fire for a 2015 inspector general’s report that claimed he was involved with "specific individuals or groups... being given special access or consideration" in the EB-5 visa program.

UN Ambassador: Not ideal for Israel, but Biden's first-round pick to address the international body will likely be Wendy Sherman, who assisted in the negotiations of the original Nuclear Deal with Iran while serving as the State Department's undersecretary for political affairs during the Obama administration.
Her position in the negotiations might hurt her chances of being confirmed by the Republican senate, which may thrust the former mayor of Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, into consideration for the position.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Mary Nichols, chairwoman of California’s Air Resources Board, will be an attractive confirmation for progressives if named into the position to head the EPA – although this is likely to get her the opposite reaction from Republicans.
Early on in Trump's term, the administration hastily cut the EPA's funding by around 31%, in order to please oil and big businesses across the country. Within the last few months, the Trump administration has now been looking to reverse many of the changes it made.

Education: A public school teacher may get the nod to lead the Department of Education, considering that Biden committed to the idea while campaigning with teacher unions for the presidency.
Lily Eskelsen Garcia, Elementary school teacher and former president of the National Education Association, is the front-runner for the position. She was named Utah's "teacher of the year," having begun her career working as a lunch lady in the school cafeteria.


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