(Reuters) – Democratic President-elect Joe Biden has nominated a flurry of members for his Cabinet and White House team, working to fulfill his promise to build an administration that reflects the United States’ diversity.
On Wednesday, Biden introduced his onetime Democratic rival Pete Buttigieg to be his transportation secretary.
Here are some important picks as well as top contenders for prominent posts, according to Reuters reporting:
SECRETARY OF STATE: ANTONY BLINKEN
The longtime Biden confidant served as No. 2 at the State Department and as deputy national security adviser in President Barack Obama’s administration.
TREASURY SECRETARY: JANET YELLEN
The former Federal Reserve chair deepened the central bank’s focus on workers and inequality. She has remained active in policy debates at the Brookings Institution think tank since Republican President Donald Trump replaced her as head of the central bank in 2018.
DEFENSE SECRETARY: LLOYD AUSTIN
Austin, who oversaw U.S. forces in the Middle East under Obama, would be the first Black U.S. 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.
AGRICULTURE SECRETARY: TOM VILSACK
Vilsack, who led the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Obama, was Iowa’s governor from 1999 until 2007. He was an early supporter of Biden and an adviser on rural issues during his campaign. Vilsack’s return to the USDA is likely to be applauded by Midwestern states that produce the bulk of commodity crops like corn, soybeans and wheat, and prefer him to someone from another region of the country.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: XAVIER BECERRA
The California attorney general was previously a 12-term congressman who played a key role in passing the Affordable Care Act in Congress. As attorney general, he has led a coalition of 20 states defending the program better known as Obamacare, including in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court last month.
HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT: MARCIA FUDGE
Fudge has served in the House of Representatives since 2008. Prior to being elected to Congress, she was mayor of Warrensville Heights, a suburb of Cleveland. If confirmed, Fudge would be the second Black woman to lead HUD, which focuses on federal policy surrounding housing.
TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: PETE BUTTIGIEG
Buttigieg is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and was one of Biden’s rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. He could be tasked with overseeing much of Biden’s plan to boost infrastructure spending, including building electric vehicle charging stations and boosting spending on high-speed rail.
ENERGY SECRETARY: JENNIFER GRANHOLM
Granholm, 61, served as the first female governor of Michigan, from 2003 to 2011. In 2009, when Biden was vice president under Obama, she worked with his office on the bailout of auto manufacturers during the Great Recession.
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: DENIS McDONOUGH
McDonough was the White House chief of staff during Obama’s second term. He spent the early part of his career an aide to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, before advising Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign on foreign policy and then serving as deputy national security adviser.
HOMELAND SECURITY: ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS
The Cuban-born lawyer will be the first Latino and first immigrant to head the department if confirmed as secretary of homeland security. As head of Citizenship and Immigration Services under Obama, Mayorkas led implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for “Dreamers” – people who were brought to the United States as children. DACA drew Republican criticism and could lead to Republican opposition to Mayorkas in the Senate.
AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD
Biden’s nominee to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is Thomas-Greenfield, who will take on a job that Biden plans to restore to a Cabinet level. She is a Black woman who served as Obama’s top diplomat on Africa from 2013 to 2017, leading U.S. policy in Africa south of the Sahara during the West African Ebola outbreak.
UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE: KATHERINE TAI
The House Ways and Means Committee lawyer played a key role in negotiating stronger labor provisions with the Trump administration in the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal. Tai, who will lead trade talks with China, previously worked at the office she will now run, heading China trade enforcement from 2011 to 2014. The Yale- and Harvard-educated Chinese American speaks Mandarin and taught university English for two years in Guangzhou.
WHITE HOUSE DOMESTIC POLICY COUNCIL DIRECTOR: SUSAN RICE
The experienced national security official has served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and as an assistant secretary of state, and was national security advisor during Obama’s second term. Rice had been on Biden’s short list as a possible vice presidential pick or secretary of state.
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION DIRECTOR: ROCHELLE WALENSKY
Walensky, currently the chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, will take a prominent role in the Biden administration’s fight against the coronavirus.
CORONAVIRUS COORDINATOR: JEFF ZIENTS
Zients, an economic adviser touted for his managerial skills, was tapped to save the bungled launch of the Affordable Care Act’s website for Obama. Under Biden, he will oversee an unprecedented operation to distribute hundreds of millions of doses of a new vaccine, coordinating efforts across multiple federal agencies.
SURGEON GENERAL: VIVEK MURTHY
A physician and former surgeon general, Murthy gained prominence in recent months as co-chairman of Biden’s advisory board dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, which the president-elect has pledged to make his top priority.
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: NEERA TANDEN
Tanden, president of the progressive Center for American Progress think tank, helped create Obamacare, which Republicans want to demolish.
COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS CHAIR: CECILIA ROUSE
Rouse is a labor economist and dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs whose research has focused on the economics of education and tackling wealth inequality. She was a member of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2009 to 2011.
NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR: BRIAN DEESE
The Obama administration veteran helped lead efforts to bail out the automotive industry during the 2009 financial crisis and helped negotiate the landmark Paris climate accord.
NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: JAKE SULLIVAN
Biden’s national security adviser when he served as vice president to Obama, Sullivan also served as deputy chief of staff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: AVRIL HAINES
Deputy national security adviser under Obama, and previously the first woman to serve as CIA deputy director, Haines is Biden’s nominee for director of national intelligence. Haines held several posts at Columbia University after leaving the outgoing Obama administration in 2017.
SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR CLIMATE: JOHN KERRY
Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Kerry will act as “climate czar” in the Biden administration. Kerry helped negotiate the Paris climate deal that Biden wants to re-join.
DOMESTIC CLIMATE POLICY COORDINATOR: GINA McCARTHY
McCarthy is the head of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmental group. She ran the Environmental Protection Agency under Obama and managed some of the administration’s signature rules for air and water pollution, including the Clean Power Plan to cut emissions from electric plants that the Trump administration has worked to rescind.
WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: RON KLAIN
A longtime Biden adviser with experience in responding to the Ebola pandemic, Klain was picked for the chief of staff role that sets the president’s agenda.
TOP CONTENDERS FOR ROLES YET TO BE FILLED
Deb Haaland – The U.S. representative from New Mexico appears to be Biden’s top choice to lead the Interior Department. Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe and one of the first Native American women elected to Congress.
Sally Yates – A former deputy attorney general, Yates was briefly the acting attorney general early in Trump’s term before being fired for insubordination for refusing to defend travel restrictions targeting seven Muslim-majority nations.
Doug Jones – A former federal prosecutor with a strong civilrights record, he won a U.S. Senate seat in a 2017 specialelection in deeply conservative Alabama. Jones was defeated in the Nov. 3 election by Republican Tommy Tuberville.
Merrick Garland – A federal appeals court judge since 1997, Garland was nominated by Obama for the Supreme Court in 2016, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to consider the nomination in a presidential election year. Garland previously worked as a federal prosecutor and held other key posts at the Justice Department.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Michael Regan – North Carolina’s top environmental regulator worked at the EPA during the Clinton and Bush administrations. An African American, he made elevating environmental justice a priority in his role in North Carolina’s government and previously when he worked at the Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit.
Richard Revesz – A professor and environmental law expert at the New York University School of Law Institute for Policy Integrity and a former dean of the NYU Law School, he has been a tough critic of the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda. He was born in Argentina and immigrated to the United States at age 17.
Mary Nichols – The former assistant administrator for the EPA during former President Bill Clinton’s administration is chairwoman of California’s Air Resources Board, which regulates air pollution in the state.
Collin O’Mara – The CEO of the National Wildlife Federation served as an energy and environment adviser to Biden. O’Mara was the youngest person to head up the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, from 2009 to 2014.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Michael Morell – He was the CIA’s deputy director and acting director of the agency twice under Obama. Morell is now the chairman of the geopolitical risk practice at Beacon Global Strategies, a Washington consulting firm.
Sue Gordon – A career intelligence officer, Gordon has held top jobs in multiple spy agencies, including the CIA. After serving in the Obama administration as deputy director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, which builds and operates U.S. spy satellites, she became principal deputy to National Intelligence Director Dan Coats in the Trump administration until summer 2019.
David Cohen – Cohen is a veteran Washington lawyer who specializes in investigating money laundering and suspicious financial activity. During the Obama administration, he served in two top anti-money laundering positions at the U.S. Treasury before becoming deputy director of the CIA.
(Reporting by Julia Harte, John Whitesides, Mark Hosenball, Howard Schneider, Sarah N. Lynch, Arshad Mohammed, Phillip Stewart, Valerie Volcovici, David Brunnstrom, Michelle Nichols, Trevor Hunnicutt, Timothy Gardner, Mike Stone, Jason Lange, Jarrett Renshaw, Jonathan Landay and Simon Lewis; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Sonya Hepinstall)