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Biden Cabinet nominees include firsts for women, Latinos

By
Don Jacobson
Janet Yellen is President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for treasury secretary. She would be the first woman in the job. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Janet Yellen is President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for treasury secretary. She would be the first woman in the job. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 23 (UPI) -- President-elect Joe Biden announced a slate of Cabinet nominees Monday, including Antony Blinken as secretary of state and Janet Yellen, who would be the first woman to serve as treasury secretary.

Biden's transition team posted the nominations Monday after initially saying they would be announced Tuesday.

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Blinken served as Biden's national security adviser in the Obama administration. As Biden's foreign policy chief, he played a key role in crafting U.S. foreign policy actions in the Middle East.

Analysts say Blinken is considered a moderate on foreign policy issues and will likely lead Biden's efforts to reverse some of the Trump administration's moves to isolate the United States from traditional allies on global agreements like the Iran nuclear deal and Paris Climate Agreement.

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Former Federal Reserve Chair Yellen, 74, would be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department, if confirmed by the Senate. She was the first woman to serve as Fed chair, serving a four-year term from 2014 until President Donald Trump replaced her with Jerome Powell at the end of her first term.

Yellen currently is an economist at the Brookings Institution and is seen as someone capable of gaining bipartisan support.

Alli McCartney, managing director at UBS, called the choice "reassuring, especially with the challenges that lie ahead including avoiding a double-dip recession and getting people back to work amidst rising virus cases," CNBC reported.

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In another key diplomatic post, Biden, nominated Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Thomas-Greenfield was assistant secretary of state for African affairs, director-general of the U.S. Foreign Service and U.S. ambassador to Liberia in the Obama administration.

Jake Sullivan was named Biden's choice for national security adviser. He was a foreign policy expert for former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has played a key role in formulating domestic policies for Biden during his campaign.

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In other Cabinet appointments announced Monday, Alejandro Mayorkas was named to head the Department of Homeland Security, Avril Haines will be Biden's director of national intelligence and former Secretary of State John Kerry was named as a special presidential envoy on climate change.

Mayorkas makes history as the first Latino nominated to lead DHS, which implements and oversees the nation's immigration policies. He served as deputy Homeland Security secretary from 2013 to 2016

Haines served as deputy CIA director in the Obama administration before succeeding Blinken as deputy national security adviser. If confirmed, she would become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in the intelligence community.

Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, served as Obama's secretary of state from 2013 to 2017. Since then, he has helped spearhead programming on climate change and oceans for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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