President-elect Joe Biden has named his choice national security heads. In an announcement he made on Monday, Biden named Antony Blinken as the incoming Secretary of State, Jake Sullivan as the administration’s National Security Advisor, and Alejandro Mayorkas as the Chief of Homeland Security. Biden also named Avril Haines as the incoming Director of National Intelligence, CNBC reports.
The president-elect also named Linda Thomas-Greenfield as his choice of personnel to fill the post of United Nations ambassador. The ambassador will be a member of Biden’s cabinet, an improvement from how it is during the present administration. Biden also picked John Kerry who previously served as a Secretary of State as a special presidential envoy for the climate. The post will be a part of the National Security Council, an unprecedented move since no top envoy has been a part of the council.
Blinken, a long-time advisor to the president-elect is not new to the security circle in the United States. Being an advocate for multilateral institutions, he is recognized for his practical approach to issues. Sullivan who previously served as a senior aide for Hillary Clinton and worked with Biden as the national security advisor during the Obama/Biden administration.
Hand in hand, these two top officials will be in charge of major policies after the president-elect is sworn in, such as the Paris Climate Agreement which Biden intends to rejoin and strengthen, amidst other projects. Haines, tapped as the next director of national intelligence, if confirmed by the Senate, has served as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency and deputy national security advisor for former President Barack Obama, the week reveals.
Haines will be the first female director of national intelligence, pointing to more diversity in an administration that has already produced the first Black-Asian vice-president-elect. Mayorkas who has been chosen to head Homeland Security, if approved will become the first Latino to occupy the position. The chief of Homeland will be saddled with the responsibility of repairing the immigration system after all the politics-motivated changes the system passed through under the present administration.
The presidential envoy for climate’s role has not been clearly stated yet but Kerry, during his time as Secretary of State, was one of the key players in the placement of the country as a world leader and a strong advocate for policies to safeguard the climate.
“The country will soon have an administration that will not trifle with the issue of climate change because it is an emergency that threatens the security of our nation,” Kerry wrote in a post on Twitter. “I feel so humbled for the privilege which I have been given to work with the president-elect and our other partners in battling the problem.”