Biden to name first female head of National Intelligence

Avril Haines
Avril Haines, former deputy national security advisor and former deputy director of the CIA, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Jan. 14 in Washington, D.C.
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate the first woman to lead the intelligence community as he builds out his national security team, with a formal announcement planned for Tuesday, his transition team said Monday.

Avril Haines is Biden’s pick to be director of National Intelligence, charged with overseeing more than a dozen federal offices from the CIA to National Security Agency. If confirmed, she’d be the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence, a position that was created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry will return as a climate policy advisor in Biden’s administration, signaling the importance the incoming administration will put on an issue largely dismissed by President Trump, who said the Paris climate agreement was largely designed to undermine American competitiveness.


Biden also plans to name Alejandro Mayorkas, who led the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency in the Obama administration, to lead the Department of Homeland Security. That’ll make him the first Latino to run a department tasked with enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.

The Biden transition team’s announcement on Monday didn’t say who his picks for other key agencies will be, including secretary of defense.