Photo Source: CNN
Photo Source: CNN

HISTORIC SELECTIONS

Biden nominates record breaking figures for his Cabinet.

February 16, 2021

President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has steadily revealed his Cabinet nominations to the country. Several of his nominations are firsts for their respective positions, a reflection of the commitment he made prior to the election. Leading up to the election in November 2020, then Presidential Candidate Biden repeatedly expressed that, “If I’m president, my administration, my cabinet, my vice president, the Supreme Court, etcetera, it will look like the country, it will look like America.”

After winning the election, Biden faced pressure from various advocacy groups, like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, to stay true to this promise and ensure his Cabinet was diverse.

Senior Navya Jagadish felt that Biden did deliver on his promise. She explained, “About 12 out of 24 of the [Cabinet] offices would be held by women, which has not been done before. Additionally, many of his picks are not white, which is also very rare […]. Despite all of this we still have a long way to go in terms of diversity, but this is more representative than it has been before.”

Here are some of Biden’s historic selections for his Cabinet:

 

Deb Haaland: Secretary of Interior

  • First Native American Cabinet Secretary

 

Pete Buttigieg: Secretary of Transportation

  • First openly gay Cabinet Nominee

 

General Lloyd J. Austin III: Secretary of Defense 

  • First African-American to lead Department of Defense 

 

Janet Yellen: Secretary of the Treasury

  • First woman to lead Treasury Department

 

John Kerry: Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

  • First Climate Envoy/Devoted Leader for the Climate

 

Alejandro Mayorkas: Secretary of Homeland Security

  • First immigrant and Latino to lead Department of Homeland Security

 

Avril Haines: Director of National Intelligence

  • First woman to serve as head of the U.S. Intelligence Community

 

Xavier Becerra: Secretary of Health and Human Services

  • First Latino to lead Department of Health and Human Services

 

Micheal Regan: Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • First African-American to lead EPA

 

Miguel Cardona: Secretary of Education

  • First Latino to lead Department of Education

 

Katherine Tai: United States Trade Representative

  • First Asian American and first woman of color to serve as US Trade Representative

 

Neera Tanden: Director of the Office of Management and Budget

  • First woman of color and first South Asian American to lead the Office of Management and Budget

 

Reactions to Biden’s Cabinet nominations have generally been positive. Senior Zachary Venezia remarked, “It is nice to see a diverse, more representative group being put into our government system. With a more representative group, a whole new spectrum of ideas, thoughts, and advancements can be made.”

Biden was inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 with now Vice President Kamala Devi Harris, the first woman to be elected vice president and the first Asian and the first African American to be selected for this position. Of the 23 Cabinet nominees that require confirmation from the Senate, six of the nominees have been confirmed thus far: Antony Blinken for Secretary of State, Janet Yellen for Secretary of Treasury, General Lloyd J. Austin for Secretary of Defense, Avril Haines for Director of National Intelligence, Ali Mayorkas for Secretary of Homeland Security and Pete Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation.

 

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