News World US Joe Biden announces key White House posts – with some familiar faces

Joe Biden announces key White House posts – with some familiar faces

US President-elect Joe Biden has made two new appointments. Photo: Getty
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US president-elect Joe Biden has announced key members of his White House team, and there is at least one familiar face in the Democratic line-up.

Former secretary of state John Kerry, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2004, has been named a special presidential envoy for climate issues.

Mr Kerry, who was secretary of state from 2013 to 2017, will also sit on the National Security Council.

Veteran diplomat Anthony Blinken will be secretary of state and hold other key foreign policy positions.

Mr Blinken, 58, is a seasoned and trusted aide who is expected to shoulder much of the burden in Mr Biden’s bid to dismantle President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be appointed as the ambassador to the UN and Avril Haines is set to become the director of national intelligence.

Alejandro Mayorkas would be appointed to head up the Department of Homeland Security which oversees key law enforcement and immigration agencies.

Jake Sullivan will become the national security adviser, the transition team said.

All the cabinet-level positions need to be confirmed by the Senate.

Mr Biden has also picked two women of colour for his legislative affairs team in the White House.

Reema Dodin and Shuwanza Goff will serve as deputy directors of legislative affairs when Mr Biden takes office on January 20.

In the meantime, the pair will help his administration negotiate legislation, as he continues to fill out his White House staff.

On the campaign trail, Mr Biden promised that his administration would be diverse and “look like America”.

In January last year, Ms Goff became the first African American woman to serve as floor director, after being appointed to help House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer decide on the Democrat’s agenda.

Ms Goff set the legislative schedule and determined which bills came to the House of Representatives floor.

Ms Dodin is the second black woman in American history to serve as floor director, this time to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.

She is also his deputy chief of staff and had previously volunteered for former president Barack Obama’s election campaign.

“Reema began as a law school intern in my office 14 years ago and progressed to become one of the most respected staffers on the Hill,” Mr Durbin said.

“She is smart, trusted and has the respect of members and staff on both sides of the aisle.”

In a statement announcing the two new appointments, Mr Biden said Americans were eager for his administration to get to work.

“Today’s appointees will help advance our agenda and ensure every American has a fair shot,” Mr Biden said.

“In a Biden administration, we will have an open door to the Hill and this team will make sure their views are always represented in the White House.”

-with AAP