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Who are President Biden’s Cabinet members?

Photos of Antony J. Blinken, Janet L. Yellen, Lloyd J. Austin III, Tom Vilsack, Debra Haaland and Merrick Garland.
Clockwise from left, Antony J. Blinken, Janet L. Yellen, Lloyd J. Austin III, Tom Vilsack, Deb Haaland and Merrick Garland are among President Biden’s Cabinet picks. All have been confirmed by the Senate.
(Getty Images)
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Secretary of State

Antony J. Blinken testifies on Capitol Hill.
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken was confirmed by the Senate in a 78-22 vote.
(Associated Press)

ANTONY J. BLINKEN
Confirmed Jan. 26

Blinken is a veteran of the Obama White House and worked as a senior advisor to then-Sen. Joe Biden before that. He and the president have a close relationship, and share a foreign policy philosophy that includes strong ties and cooperation with allies, with U.S. leadership consulting other countries. Blinken spent much of his childhood in Paris, and is an erudite, if low-key, French-speaking diplomat who enjoys ample respect within the State Department and foreign policy establishment. He likes to tell the story of his stepfather — a Holocaust survivor rescued by U.S. troops who liberated Nazis death camps at the end of World War II — as an example of the good America can do.

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Secretary of the Treasury

Janet L. Yellen speaks during an interview.
Janet L. Yellen was confirmed by the Senate in an 84-15 vote.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

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JANET L. YELLEN
Confirmed Jan. 25

Yellen, an expert on labor markets and employment, is the first woman to head the Treasury Department. She’s also the only person to have held all three of the nation’s top economic posts — chair of the Federal Reserve and head of the Council of Economic Advisors in addition to Treasury secretary. In her years heading the Fed (2014-2018), she advocated policies designed to boost employment, arguing that the economy could produce more jobs without risking significant inflation. She also pushed for tougher regulation of large banks. As head of the Council of Economic Advisors in the Clinton White House, she oversaw an influential study on why women are paid less on average than men for comparable work. She has moved between government service and academic positions, mostly at UC Berkeley, where she began teaching in 1980. She served two stints on the Federal Reserve Board in addition to her time as chair. She also served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In that post, she was credited with spotting early evidence of the housing bubble and helping to manage the 2008 financial crisis when the bubble burst.

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Secretary of Defense

A profile shot of Lloyd J. Austin III
Lloyd J. Austin III was confirmed as Defense secretary in a 93-2 Senate vote.
(Greg Nash / Associated Press)

LLOYD J. AUSTIN III
Confirmed Jan. 22
Austin, a former top U.S. commander in the Middle East, is the first Black person in charge of the Pentagon. The Georgia native has said his immediate priority is to expand the military’s role in assisting the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also faces far-reaching decisions on whether to proceed with further troop drawdowns in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and on changing U.S. security strategy to focus more on countering China. President Biden chose him despite concerns that putting a recently retired officer in charge of the armed forces could further weaken civilian control of the military. As vice president, Biden came to admire Austin’s publicity-averse style and willingness to carry out White House decisions loyally, even if he disagreed with them.

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Attorney General

Judge Merrick Garland answers questions at his confirmation hearing.
Judge Merrick Garland is best known for his Supreme Court nomination by President Obama, which Senate Republicans refused to consider. On March 10, Garland was confirmed as attorney general by a 70-30 Senate vote.
(Associated Press)

MERRICK GARLAND
Confirmed March 10

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Garland was a federal appeals court judge when Biden chose him to be the nation’s 86th attorney general. A 1977 graduate of Harvard Law School, Garland worked in private practice before joining the Justice Department in the late 1980s. He was eventually tapped to serve as a top official in the deputy attorney general’s office in the Clinton administration, and in that role oversaw the investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing. Garland left the Justice Department in 1997, when he was confirmed as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, considered by legal scholars to be the country’s second-most-powerful court. President Obama nominated Garland in March 2016 to be a Supreme Court justice, but leaders of the Republican-controlled Senate refused to consider the choice, saying they wanted to leave the seat vacant until after a new president was inaugurated the following year.

After Biden campaigned on his bipartisan relationships in the Senate, White House isn’t doing much outreach to Republicans on confirming his nominees.

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Secretary of the Interior

Rep. Deb Haaland testifies at a hearing on her nomination.
As a member of Congress, Deb Haaland helped oversee the Department of the Interior as vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee. She was confirmed as secretary by a 51-40 Senate vote.
(Leigh Vogel / Getty Images)

DEB HAALAND
Confirmed March 15

Haaland is the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. Elected to the House of Representatives in 2018, she served two years as vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, which oversees the Department of the Interior. Haaland is a citizen of the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico. Her activism dates back years, but she became more prominent after participating in protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. She inherits an agency mired in controversy over Trump administration policies that favored fossil fuel companies and the Biden administration’s moratorium on new oil and gas drilling on federal lands. Like the agency she now leads, her nomination became a proxy for the fight over the future of the country’s climate and energy policies.

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Secretary of Agriculture

Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa
Tom Vilsack was confirmed as secretary of Agriculture on a 92-7 vote.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

TOM VILSACK
Confirmed Feb. 23

The former governor of Iowa is a familiar face at the Department of Agriculture: He was Agriculture secretary for both terms of the Obama administration. His appeal to President Biden is obvious: Vilsack is a steady hand who knows farming issues and can bring stability back to the industry, which has been rattled by the pandemic and President Trump’s trade war with China. Vilsack’s moderate political posture is similar to Biden’s, and he was confirmed easily. Progressives are wary of Vilsack, arguing he is too cozy with big farming interests and has not done enough to address racial and economic inequities in the sector. He has vowed to make those concerns a focus of his tenure this time, along with aggressively promoting climate-friendly agricultural practices.

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Secretary of Commerce

Gina Raimondo speaks into a microphone.
Gina Raimondo, who was in her second term as Rhode Island’s governor, was confirmed on an 84-15 vote in the Senate.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

GINA RAIMONDO
Confirmed March 2

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Raimondo, a business-oriented moderate Democrat, was midway through her second term as Rhode Island’s first female governor when President Biden chose her for his Cabinet. Previously she was general treasurer of the state, where she became best known — and disliked by influential public employee unions — for overhauling the state’s financially troubled public employee pension system and reducing benefits. A venture capitalist early in her career, Raimondo was a graduate of Harvard and Yale Law, and was a Rhodes scholar. In February 2020, during Democrats’ presidential nomination race, she first endorsed the billionaire former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, saying it was “an easy call.” When Bloomberg dropped out a month later, she endorsed Biden.

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Secretary of Labor

Marty Walsh speaks during a confirmation hearing.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a former union leader, was nominated with the support of top U.S. labor leaders. The Senate voted 68-29 to confirm him.
(Graeme Jennings / Associated Press)

MARTY WALSH
Confirmed March 22

Walsh had been mayor of Boston for seven years when President Biden nominated him to head the Labor Department. He hails from the city’s working-class Dorchester neighborhood and is a former union leader in the building trades. A product of Boston’s Democratic political machine, Walsh was a state legislator before being elected mayor in 2013. In a statement on his nomination for Labor secretary, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called Walsh a staunch union ally who “knows that collective bargaining is essential” to fulfilling Biden’s economic and social justice agenda. Support from Trumka and other labor leaders helped Walsh overcome flashier candidates for the job, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Julie Su, California’s labor secretary.

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Secretary of Health and Human Services

Xavier Becerra testifies at a hearing on his nomination.
Xavier Becerra, who was California’s attorney general and had long worked for better access to healthcare, was confirmed by a 50-49 Senate vote.
(Greg Nash / Associated Press)

XAVIER BECERRA
Confirmed March 18

The former California attorney general was a longtime member of Congress who has focused on healthcare access for most of his career. He is the first Latino to run the Health and Human Services Department. A child of Mexican immigrants who is known as a crusader for immigrant rights, Becerra stands out as one of President Biden’s most progressive Cabinet members. His understated style and eagerness to bore into the most obtuse policy matters were a draw for Biden, who did not know Becerra well before nominating him. The choice became one of Biden’s most controversial, with Republican leaders branding Becerra as too far to the left for the post, citing his unyielding support for abortion rights, his longtime advocacy for “Medicare for all,” and the over 100 lawsuits he filed against the Trump administration as California’s top prosecutor. And although several previous HHS secretaries had no formal medical training, Republicans also tried to make Becerra’s lack of experience in the field an issue.

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Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Rep. Marcia Fudge speaks during an event.
Rep. Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, says she wants to keep those hit hard by the pandemic from being forced from their homes. She was confirmed by the Senate on a 66-34 vote.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

MARCIA L. FUDGE
Confirmed March 10

Fudge, an Ohio Democrat first elected to the House in 2008, lobbied for President Biden to nominate her to be the first Black female secretary of Agriculture before he selected her to lead the nation’s housing agency. Fudge told senators her immediate priority would be to ensure that Americans hit hard by the pandemic can stay in their homes. In Congress, Fudge served on the Committee on House Administration as well as the Agriculture and Education and Labor committees. She chairs the House Administration Subcommittee on Elections and the Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations. She is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Secretary of Transportation

Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was confirmed on an 86-13 vote in the Senate.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

PETE BUTTIGIEG
Confirmed Feb. 2

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., made his splash in national politics as a rival of now-President Biden during the Democratic presidential primary campaign. He became the first openly gay candidate to win a caucus or primary after narrowly winning Iowa’s Democratic contest. Buttigieg positioned himself on the campaign trail as a policy wonk and a common-sense bridge builder, vowing to bring a fresh approach to government and leave behind partisan bunkers. A Rhodes scholar and a Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan, Buttigieg often draws on his experience working to revitalize the distressed city of South Bend. Although he and Biden cut very different paths in the campaign, their approach to politics is similar. Buttigieg is expected to take an outside-the-box approach to the transportation role, using it as a springboard to promote innovation in public spending as well as pioneering approaches to combat climate change.

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Secretary of Energy

Jennifer M. Granholm testifies in a hearing on her nomination.
Jennifer M. Granholm was confirmed by the Senate in a 64-35 vote.
(Graeme Jennings / Associated Press)

JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM
Confirmed Feb. 25

Granholm is a former two-term governor of Michigan, the first woman in that position, and became a familiar figure as a CNN political commentator from 2017 through 2020. She previously had her own show on the now-defunct Current TV network. After her first election as governor in 2002, some pundits saw her as a potential presidential candidate, but the talk was short-lived: Born in Vancouver, Canada, Granholm is ineligible to run under the Constitution. She was 4 when her family moved to California; she became a U.S. citizen at 21 and graduated from UC Berkeley, where she also taught after her governorship. Granholm graduated from Harvard Law School and moved to Michigan before launching her political career, first becoming state attorney general and then governor. As Energy secretary, she is expected to draw on her ties to labor unions and the auto industry as President Biden seeks to promote clean power sources.

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Secretary of Education

Miguel Cardona testifies during his confirmation process.
Miguel Cardona was confirmed by a 64–33 vote in the Senate.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

MIGUEL CARDONA
Confirmed March 1

Cardona, a former elementary school teacher and principal, was Connecticut’s education secretary when President Biden chose him to lead the U.S. Department of Education. Cardona, who is of Puerto Rican descent, had the backing of teachers unions and Latino activists. In Connecticut, Cardona had pushed successfully to reopen many schools during the pandemic, giving him experience with one of the most politically vexing issues Biden faces. Cardona’s challenges will include helping school districts nationwide fully reopen classrooms, then helping develop ways to make up for students’ missed learning opportunities during the lockdown.

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Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Denis McDonough speaks at a news briefing.
Denis McDonough was confirmed to lead the VA in an 87-7 Senate vote.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

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DENIS McDONOUGH
Confirmed Feb. 8

McDonough, a White House chief of staff to former President Obama, is only the second nonveteran to lead the agency. A Minnesota native, he was an aide in Obama’s Senate office, and at the White House also served in national security roles and helped oversee Obama’s effort to reduce wait times for patients at veterans hospitals. His experience as a troubleshooter and insider is seen as key as he takes on long-running problems at the second-largest federal agency, including a troubled effort to sync veterans’ medical records with those at the Defense Department.

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Secretary of Homeland Security

Alejandro N. Mayorkas speaks during a news briefing.
Alejandro N. Mayorkas was confirmed as Homeland Security secretary in a 56-43 Senate vote.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

ALEJANDRO N. MAYORKAS
Confirmed Feb. 2

Born in Cuba and raised in Los Angeles, Mayorkas is the first Latino and first immigrant to serve as Homeland Security secretary — marking a dramatic shift in tone and policy from the Trump administration. Senate Republicans delayed his confirmation even though the Senate had confirmed Mayorkas for three prior positions — including deputy Homeland Security secretary in the Obama administration. The GOP opposition, which focused on allegations that Mayorkas “exerted improper influence” as President Obama’s director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, underscores the challenge for Mayorkas and Homeland Security as Washington grapples with the fallout of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and prepares for another fight over immigration. President Biden has proposed a comprehensive immigration overhaul and issued a spate of executive orders aimed at undoing President Trump’s restrictions on immigration. But with thousands of migrants stranded at the U.S.-Mexico border, Mayorkas has kept some of Trump’s most restrictive policies in place, saying they remain necessary amid a pandemic.

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Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Michael Regan speaks at a Biden transition event.
Michael S. Regan has worked in the EPA under both Democratic and Republican administrations. The Senate confirmed him on a 66-34 vote.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

MICHAEL S. REGAN
Confirmed March 10

Regan led the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and has a reputation for working with Democrats and Republicans in his home state, making him an appealing candidate for the Biden administration. He is the first Black man to oversee the EPA. Regan spent nearly a decade working in the EPA’s air quality and energy programs during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He has also worked for the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy organization. As North Carolina’s top environmental regulator, he was credited with brokering the largest coal-ash cleanup settlement in the country. Regan has said he shares President Biden’s sense of urgency on combating climate change and would prioritize environmental justice and science in the agency’s decision-making.

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Director of the Office of Management and Budget

Shalanda Young wears a mask as she sits in the Oval Office.
Shalanda Young, who is OMB’s deputy director, is serving as the budget office’s acting chief.
(Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press)

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Shalanda Young, acting director

Shalanda Young, who was sworn in March 26 as OMB’s deputy director, is serving as the budget office’s acting chief. Biden on March 2 withdrew the nomination of longtime Democratic policy advisor Neera Tanden to be his budget director, an acknowledgment that she could not win confirmation in the Senate. He has yet to name another nominee.

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Director of National Intelligence

Avril Haines takes questions at a confirmation hearing.
Avril Haines was confirmed for the top U.S. intelligence post in an 84-10 Senate vote.
(Joe Raedle / Associated Press)

AVRIL HAINES
Confirmed Jan. 20

Haines, a former deputy CIA director and deputy national security advisor, is the first woman to serve as the top official in the intelligence community. A lawyer, she was an aide on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2007 when now-President Biden was chair. At the CIA during the Obama administration, she decided against disciplining personnel who hacked computers of Senate staffers who were writing a report on the CIA’s use of torture, overruling the agency’s inspector general. In her new role, she declassified a U.S. intelligence report that concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Haines is expected to focus on restoring relations between intelligence agencies and the White House, ties that were badly strained under former President Trump.

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U.S. Trade Representative

Katherine Tai speaks at a Senate committee hearing.
Katherine Tai’s nomination as U.S. trade representative has been widely praised, and her confirmation vote in the Senate was 98-0.
(Getty Images)

KATHERINE TAI
Confirmed March 17

Tai, who is the first Asian American U.S. trade ambassador, was an unusual choice: She is not from a blue-chip law firm or think tank, a multinational corporation or political office. She was most recently a Democratic congressional aide — the chief trade counsel on the House Ways and Means Committee. In that role, Tai impressed people in both major parties, as well as union leaders and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with her deft work toward reaching bipartisan accord on a rewrite of the quarter-century-old North American Free Trade Agreement into the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a top priority of former President Trump. A daughter of Chinese immigrants who is fluent in Mandarin, Tai has been a critic of China’s aggressive, often illegal, trade practices. Foreign Policy magazine wrote: “It’s impossible to find anyone who will say anything bad about Katherine Tai.” In announcing her nomination, President Biden told her: “I’ve gotten more calls complimenting me on your appointment than you can imagine.”

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Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors

Cecilia Rouse speaks at a Biden transition event.
Cecilia Rouse was confirmed by the Senate in a 95-4 vote.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

CECILIA ROUSE
Confirmed March 2

Rouse, an economist who grew up in Del Mar, is the first Black person to serve as chair of the council that advises the president on economic policy. She was previously a member of the three-person Council of Economic Advisors late in the Clinton administration and early in President Obama’s. Before President Biden enlisted her, Rouse was dean of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. During her career, her economic research has focused on educational inequities, discrimination and other factors that exacerbate the country’s wealth gap. She has made clear that she plans to focus the council’s work on analyzing and promoting policies to make economic opportunities more equitable.

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Administrator of the Small Business Administration

Isabel Guzman speaks at a Biden transition event.
Isabel Guzman previously worked at the Small Business Administration during the Obama administration. She was confirmed as secretary by a 81-17 Senate vote.
(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

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ISABEL GUZMAN
Confirmed March 16

Guzman was working for California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Business and Economic Development when President Biden tapped her to lead the Small Business Administration. She previously worked there during the Obama administration. Guzman has also served as an advisor to ProAmerica Bank, which later merged with Pacific Commerce Bank, both based in Los Angeles. The federal Small Business Administration facilitates loans to small businesses and helps communities recover from economic setbacks and natural disasters. It has also played a key role during the COVID-19 pandemic, overseeing the Paycheck Protection Program intended to prevent layoffs at businesses adversely affected by restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

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Presidential Science Advisor and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy

 Eric Lander speaks from a lectern as President-elect Joe Biden sits nearby.
Eric Lander, shown with then-President-elect Biden in January, was sworn in to the Cabinet level position on June 2.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

ERIC LANDER
Confirmed May 28

Under President Biden, the top White House science advisor is considered a member of the Cabinet for the first time. Lander leads the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which helps formulate guidelines and practices across the federal government. Lander was most recently the founding director of the Broad Institute, a partnership between MIT and Harvard that uses genomics to fight disease. He helped lead the Human Genome Project and also served in the Obama administration. He has a background in genetics, molecular biology and mathematics.

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White House Chief of Staff

Ron Klain
Ron Klain was previously chief of staff to two vice presidents: Joe Biden and Al Gore.
(Mandel Ngan / Getty Images)

RON KLAIN
Does not require Senate confirmation

Klain came to the job familiar not just with President Biden, but with the White House: He was chief of staff to two vice presidents, Al Gore and Biden, and served as President Obama’s Ebola response czar. Klain has experience in all three branches of government. He was a Supreme Court clerk after law school, and in 1989 became general counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee when Biden was chairman, including during the contentious confirmation of Justice Clarence Thomas. Klain then served as a counsel to President Clinton before becoming Gore’s chief of staff in Clinton’s second term, with a break in between to work as staff director for the Senate Democratic leadership. He was Gore’s general counsel during the 2000 election recount. Over the last two decades, he also had stints in the private sector as a lawyer-lobbyist and as an executive at a venture capital firm.

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Ambassador to the United Nations

Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks at the United Nations.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, an advocate of “gumbo diplomacy,” was confirmed as ambassador to the United Nations by a 78-20 Senate vote.
(Angela Weiss / Associated Press)

LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD
Confirmed Feb. 23

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Thomas-Greenfield was a 30-year career diplomat and the most senior Black official at the State Department when the Trump administration forced her out. She served as assistant secretary of State for African affairs and in numerous embassy posts in Africa and elsewhere. Thomas-Greenfield is a strong advocate for greater diversity in the foreign service, often seen as a club for white men, and for rebuilding an agency depleted under President Trump. “The United States needs a top-to-bottom diplomatic surge,” she wrote ahead of her nomination. As a native of Louisiana, she promotes what she calls “gumbo diplomacy,” using personal interactions such as sharing a meal of the Cajun stew to help break down barriers and tackle tough issues.

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Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

John Kerry
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry speaks during a press briefing at the White House on Jan. 27. Kerry did not have to face Senate confirmation for the post.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

JOHN F. KERRY
Sworn in Jan. 20

After serving as President Obama’s secretary of State, Kerry has a new diplomatic post — one that didn’t exist until now. His role in this new Cabinet-level position will be to restore the United States’ position as a global leader in combating climate change and to repair the country’s credibility with foreign leaders after the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Paris climate accord. He will also have a seat on the National Security Council. During his four years as the country’s top diplomat, Kerry helped negotiate the Paris agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. From 1985 to 2013, he represented Massachusetts in the Senate. After the Obama administration, Kerry launched a group of celebrities and world leaders working to combat climate change, called World War Zero. The creation of his position is a sign of President Biden’s desire to reengage in international climate talks and to elevate the issue of global warming within his administration.

This article was reported by Times staff writers Noah Bierman, Jackie Calmes, David S. Cloud, Evan Halper, David Lauter, Chris Megerian, Molly O’Toole, Anna M. Phillips, Eli Stokols, Del Quentin Wilber, Tracy Wilkinson and Sarah D. Wire.

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