A Guide to Biden’s Cabinet

Confirmed Cabinet Members:

  • Vice President Kamala D. Harris

Yes, the vice president is technically a cabinet member! Kamala Harris was sworn in on January 20, 2021, when she became the first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president in American history. She now presides over the narrowly Democratic Senate, where she formerly served as a Senator from California. Before she became a Senator, she served as the attorney general of California.

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Blinken, confirmed on January 26th, 2021, will serve as President Biden’s chief advisor on foreign policy. Before becoming Secretary of State, he served as deputy secretary of state, assistant to the president, and principal deputy national security advisor during the Obama administration. He is an avid guitar player, and to hear his latest single, you can follow him on Spotify at ‘Ablinken.’

  • Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen

Before she became the first woman to serve as treasury secretary, Janet Yellen was also the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve. From 1997-1999, during the Clinton administration, she also served as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

  • Secretary of Defense Gen. Lloyd Austin

General Austin is a retired Army general and was formerly the commander of the US Central Command. He was confirmed on January 22nd, 2021, and is the first African-American to oversee the Defense Department.

  • Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

You might recognize Secretary Buttigieg from his former stint as a presidential hopeful in the 2020 Democratic primary. Along with being the youngest member of Biden’s cabinet at 38 years old, he is also the first LBTQ+ cabinet secretary. The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor recently released his $1 trillion plan for improving the nation’s infrastructure.

  • Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary Mayorkas is the first Latino and the first immigrant to oversee the Department of Homeland Security. Under the Obama administration, he was deputy secretary of homeland security, where he oversaw the implementation of the DACA program, which protects young undocumented immigrants from being deported.

  • Denis McDonough – Secretary of Veterans Affairs

During former President Obama’s second term, McDonough served as chief of staff. He also served as deputy national security adviser. He is the second non-veteran to have served in the position.

Yet-To-Be Confirmed Nominees, as of February 10:

  • Merrick Garland – Attorney General

Merrick Garland has served as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit since 1997, when he was nominated by Bill Clinton. He was nominated to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, however Senate Republicans prevented this from happening, and the seat was instead filled by Justice Neil Gorsuch. During his time as leader of the Justice Department, he will likely seek to depoliticize the office.

  • Deb Haaland – Secretary of the Interior

The congresswoman from New Mexico will make history as the first Native American cabinet secretary if confirmed. She will likely champion climate-related issues, as well as try to right wrongs done formerly by the department towards Indigenous peoples.

  • Tom Vilsack – Secretary of Agriculture

Tom Vilsack originally served in this position during the Obama administration, a position he held for all eight years of the administration’s tenure. During this time, he worked with former First Lady Michelle Obama to found the ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative and chaired the first-ever White House Rural Council. In 1998, he was elected governor of Iowa—the first Democrat to do so in over 30 years.

  • Gina Raimondo – Secretary of Commerce

Before she was nominated to represent American businesses as Secretary of Commerce, Gin

a Raimondo served as governor of Rhode Island, a position she has held since 2015. She also previously co-founded a venture capitalist firm called Point Judith Capital.

  • Marty Walsh – Secretary of Labor

Since 2014, Walsh has served as the mayor of Boston, where he focused on strengthening Boston’s schools and attempted to combat income inequality. He also led the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents electrician and ironworker unions.

  • Xavier Becerra – Secretary of Health and Human Services

Before his nomination, Becerra served as attorney general of California. During his time in this position, he championed efforts to defend the Affordable Care

Act in court, and will likely continue to hold his stance on healthcare throughout his time in the position.

  • Marcia Fudge – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Marcia Fudge is a congresswoman from Ohio’s 11th district, and the former mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio. She also used to chair the Congressional Black Caucus.

  • Jennifer Granholm – Secretary of Energy

Jennifer Granholm previously served two terms as governor of Michigan, and before that, attorney general of Michigan. Because of her experience with the Michigan auto industry, she is expected to help President Biden with his plan to move the country toward electric vehicles.

  • Miguel Cardona – Secretary of Education

Cardona is the commissioner of education in the state of Connecticut, where his parents immigrated from Puerto Rico. He rose the ranks of the Connecticut public school system, starting as a fourth-grade teacher at Israel Putnam Elementary School. He has been vocal in his support of reopening schools.

— Blake Ciresa