President-elect Joe Biden announced a position among the top foreign policy and national security picks on Monday.
While making appointments regarding foreign policy, Joe Biden nominates the first woman to head the US intelligence community and the first Latino to lead the Department of Homeland Security.
Cuban-born Alejandro Mayorkas, former Deputy Secretary of DHS, nominated by Biden to head the department, will be charged with restoring an agency that has introduced some of the most punitive policies synonymous with President Donald Trump’s hard-line immigration policy, including family separation at the US-Mexico border.
Biden’s appointment as Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, a former senior CIA official, and Deputy National Security Advisor, will also make history if confirmed by the Senate.
Joe Biden’s foreign policy works quickly to set up his new administration amid Trump’s continuing attempts to reverse the election outcome and accelerate the transition.
Rumors have it that Biden is set to nominate Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury, according to a source with knowledge of the selection.
If nominated and approved, Yellen will be the first woman to serve as Secretary of the Treasury.
The list of appointments released on Monday included confirmation of Antony Blinken, Biden’s top foreign policy advisor, as the next Secretary of State, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, as US Ambassador to the United Nations.
Jake Sullivan will join the White House team as National Security Advisor to Biden; Joe Biden believes these appointees will bring great contribution in terms of Joe Biden’s foreign policies.
Joe Biden’s foreign policy choices reflect Biden’s willingness to create a diverse Cabinet of experts in public policy and deep government experience.
The past Secretary of State John Kerry has been selected to serve as the environment czar of Biden.
Kerry is the Paris climate agreement champion, the historic treaty that Trump has withdrawn from the US.
Kerry was also Biden’s choice to co-chair the “unity task force” with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ allies after the Democratic presidential primary.
In a statement, Biden described Monday’s choices as the crux” of a team tasked with reasserting American leadership on the global stage in the wake of Trump’s attempts to cut off multilateral diplomacy and sever delicate pacts like Iran’s nuclear deal.
In view of Joe Biden’s foreign policy, Joe said, “These individuals are quite as competent and crisis-tested as they are innovative and creative,” “Their accomplishments in diplomacy are unparalleled, but they also reflect the idea that together we can meet the significant challenge of this new moment with outdated ways and unchanged habits — and without diversity of background and perspective. It’s why I’ve chosen them.”
The top Democrat who happens to be in the Senate Intelligence Committee quickly relied on his Republican peers to report that Haines was heading the intelligence community.
“Avril is smart and capable, with a background that will serve her well as Director of National Intelligence,” said Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.
“While I expect that she will face stringent questioning from Senators on both sides of the political aisle, the sooner we can get a confirmed DNI in position to improve fixing the damage the last four years have done to our intelligence agencies, the better.”
Thomas-Greenfield is a former foreign service officer who was among the first recipients of Trump’s original purge of experienced diplomats in 2017.
During the Obama administration, she worked as Assistant Secretary to the Office of African Affairs and is held in high regard by fellow foreign policy experts.
“My mum taught me to lead with the strength of kindness and compassion to make the world a better place,” Thomas-Greenfield tweeted after the announcement of her nomination.
“I’ve carried that lesson with me throughout my career in Foreign Service — and if confirmed, will do the same as Ambassador to the United Nations,” said the former career diplomat.
Biden also announced that the position would be elevated to a Cabinet-level role, reversing Trump’s decision to demote the role.
Climate activists will also note installing Kerry, as the special presidential envoy for climate, on the National Security Council.
“This marks the first time that the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change, reflecting the president-elect’s commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue,” the Biden transition team said in a release announcing the picks.
In taking over the DHS, Mayorkas faces the most significant domestic challenge.
The department became the enforcement arm of some of Trump’s most controversial programs.
His selection received an early endorsement from former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who ran in the Democratic presidential primary and has emerged as a leading immigrants’ rights advocate.
“Alejandro Mayorkas is a historical and experienced choice to lead an agency in desperate need of reform,” Castro tweeted.
“As an immigrant and a creator of the DACA program, he’s well suited to undo Trump’s damage and build a more compassionate and common-sense immigration agenda.”
In a pair of statements, the progressive group Justice Democrats and the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate activist organization, praised Kerry’s selection but continued to push for a new White House climate office dealing with domestic policy.
“We are inspired by Joe Biden foreign policy and one of his first major appointments John Kerry as Climate Czar as it illustrates the necessity of taking bold, international efforts on the climate crisis,” said Justice Democrats Executive Director Alexandra Rojas
But America in terms of Joe Biden foreign policy also needs a domestic and international Climate, Czar who directly reports to the President and will oversee an Office of Climate Mobilization committed to in the Biden-Sanders task forces.”