The Historic Firsts In Biden’s Administration

President-elect Joe Biden made a campaign promise to have a diverse and experienced team behind him. He started fulfilling the promise to build an administration that reflected the nation’s diversity by selecting Kamala Harris as his Vice President, the first woman, Black and South Asian individual to do so. 

Now, with the official transition of power underway, the Biden-Harris administration continues to announce their picks for those to serve who, if confirmed by the Senate, would make history. 

Here is a look at the picks set to join the Biden Administration and make history

Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, First Black Deputy Secretary of the Treasury

Adeyemo, who currently leads the Obama Foundation as President, formerly served as the senior international economic adviser and deputy director of the National Economic Council under Barack Obama. Adeyemo has a breadth of experience as former deputy national security adviser and the first chief of staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and deputy chief of staff at the Department of the Treasury.

Cecilia Rouse, First woman of color to chair the Council of Economic Advisers

If confirmed by the Senate, Rouse will bring extensive experience to the Biden administration. She has been a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University and also served as the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. She’s also worked on national economic councils during both the Obama and Clinton administrations.

Neera Tanden, First woman of color and first South Asian American to serve as Director of the Office of Management and Budget 

Tanden is currently the CEO and president of the Center for American Progress. She’s served in the Clinton and Obama administrations in various roles including, senior adviser for health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services. Tanden was also the director of domestic policy for the Obama campaign and policy director for Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign.

Carlos Elizondo, First Hispanic American White House Social Secretary

Elizondo is well-known to Biden, after serving as his social secretary for all eight years of the Obama administration. He was also a special assistant to the president and worked in the Office of the US Chief of Protocol during the Clinton administration. 

Avril Haines, First woman to serve as Director of National Intelligence

Haines, former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has also served as principal deputy national security advisor to former President Obama. She also chaired the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee, which sets the president’s national security and foreign policy. When Biden was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, she worked as deputy chief counsel to the committee. 

Alejandro Mayorkas, First Latino and immigrant to serve as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security 

With the Senate’s confirmation, Mayorkas would lead the Department of Homeland Security after serving as its deputy secretary under Obama. He was also the director of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services where he managed the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an executive action Obama signed to protect undocumented children from deportation. 

Janet Yellen, First woman to serve as Treasury Secretary

Yellen previously made history as the first woman to serve as the Federal Reserve chair from 2014 to 2018. She served in the White House Council of Economic Advisors from 1997-1999 and also held the chief executive office of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. 

Photos: Getty Images

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