On Monday, 23 November, United States President-Elect Joe Biden announced several key positions on his national security and foreign policy team, including secretary of state, homeland security secretary, director of national intelligence, ambassador to the United Nations, national security adviser, and a special presidential envoy for climate.
ANTONY BLINKEN AS SECRETARY OF STATE
Blinken served under the Obama administration as the deputy secretary of state, assistant to the president and principal deputy national security adviser.
He also served as a member of the National Security Council staff at the White House under the Clinton Administration. He was Clinton's chief foreign policy speechwriter.
Blinken has been recently quoted asserting that Biden sees India and the US as "natural partners", adding that the Biden administration would advocate for India to play a leading role in international institutions like the UN Security Council.
Blinken has also asserted that India and the US have a common challenge with reference to China's rising assertiveness in the region.
ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS AS SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Mayorkas' nomination as the secretary of the department of homeland security (DHS) is historic. Mayorkas, if confirmed, will be the first Latino and the first immigrant to lead the department.
He was previously the deputy DHS secretary under Barack Obama, and one of the creators of the presently contentious DACA program.
AVRIL HAINES AS DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
If confirmed, Haines will be the first woman to serve in the role as Director of National Intelligence.
During the Obama administration, Haines served as Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor from 2015-2017. From 2013-2015, she was the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; she was the first woman to hold both of these positions.
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD AS US AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Under Obama, Thomas-Greenfield previously served as the US ambassador to Liberia and as the assistant secretary of state for African affairs. With decades of experience in the field, she was also a foreign service officer who worked for the Reagan administration, and also served as director general of the Foreign Service
JOHN KERRY AS THE FIRST SPECIAL ENVOY TO CONFRONT CLIMATE CHANGE
This is the first time the US National Security Council will have an official designated for climate change, reflecting the President-Elect's belief that climate change is a national security concern.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry played a key role in negotiating the Paris climate accord to reduce climate emissions.
JAKE SULLIVAN AS THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR
Currently working as a policy advisor to the president-elect, Sullivan served as Biden’s national security adviser when he was vice-president under the Obama Administration.
Sullivan played a key role in negotiating the Iran nuclear deal.