President Joe Biden held true to his oath. In order of succession, here is a brief look into the most diverse Cabinet members in U.S. history.
Vice President Kamala Harris: The politician is the first female and first Black and Asian American to hold the title. The Californian has led a life of public service. Prior to her current title, she served as California’s attorney general.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken: It was no surprise that the Democrat has led a life of public service. “For my family, as for so many generations of Americans, America has literally been the last best hope on earth,” Blinken said on Nov. 24. Among his family tree, including his grandparents and parents, are Holocaust survivors, immigrants and refugees. He followed in his family footsteps where most of them served as diplomats or public servants. “Their stories inspired me to serve,” he tweeted. Prior to his current title, the politician served as deputy secretary of state and as deputy national security adviser for former President Barack Obama’s administration.
Secretary of Treasury Dr. Janet Yellen: The Democrat has worked for almost 50 years in public service and academia. An economist by practice, she became the first person in U.S. history to have guided the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the White House Council of Economic Advisors. Upon her nomination, President-elect Biden on Dec. 1, 2020 said, “She has spent her career focused on unemployment and the dignity of work. She understands what it means to people and their communities when they have good, decent jobs.”
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III: The patriot served in the army for 41 years and is the first Black person to hold that title. He served as commander of the U.S. Central Command for three years and retired as a four-star army general.
Attorney General Merrick Garland: Garland brings his legal experience to the White House after serving as the trial prosecutor for the Justice Department and serving as a federal appellate judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 2013, he served as chief judge of the circuit.
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland: Haaland is the first Native America to hold that position and the first Native American cabinet secretary in U.S. history. Upon her nomination, she tweeted, “A voice like mine has never been a Cabinet secretary or at the head of the Department of Interior.” This is not the first time that Haaland has shattered the glass ceiling. In 2018, she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming one of the first two Native Americans to have been elected. She has been involved in New Mexico politics for eight years serving as chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico’s Native American Caucus and later as chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack: The former Iowa governor brings plenty of experience to the table. Before his nomination, the politician served as the secretary of agriculture during the entirety of President Obama’s administration. He also served as the president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.
Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo: Before her nomination, Raimondo was Rhode Island’s governor, becoming the first woman to hold that position. She also served as the general treasurer of Rhode Island, and upon her graduation from Yale Law School, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood. She also co-founded the venture capital firm Point Judith Capital.
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh: The Democrat served as the mayor of Boston from 2014 to 2020. During his tenure as mayor, he focused on reinforcing the school systems, addressed the need for housing and addressed crime prevention strategies.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra: Before his nomination, the experienced politician was the first Latino to hold the position of attorney general of the state of California and was the former congressman representing Los Angeles.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge: The congresswoman has served the people of Ohio for more than three decades starting in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. She became the first African American and first female mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio. A civil and humans rights advocate, Fudge served on the House Agriculture Committee, House Committee on Education and Labor and the Committee on House Administration.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg: The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate brings plenty of political experience to the table. Due to his nomination, Buttigieg is expected to push for President Biden’s drive for a bipartisan infrastructure package.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm: The former Michigan governor and attorney general is putting climate change back on the table. She will push for President Biden’s goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona: With decades of experience as an educator, Cardona served as the state of Connecticut’s commissioner of education. The educator also served as the co-chairperson of the Connecticut Birth to Grade Three Leaders Council and and as the co-chairperson of the Connecticut Legislative Achievement Gap Task Force.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough: McDonough brings years of political experience as former President Obama’s chief of staff. He previously served as deputy national security advisor, deputy national security advisor for strategic communications and as the chief of staff of the national security staff.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas: Mayorkas would be the first immigrant to lead that position. Previously, he served as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary, and before that, he served as the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Michael Regan: The former secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality brings over 18 years of experience in environmental advocacy and regulation. In addition, he served as the associate vice president of U.S. Climate and Energy and southeast regional director of the Environmental Defense Fund. Regan will be bringing his experience of working for two presidential administrations (George W. Bush and Bill Clinton) when he worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality and energy programs.
Director of the Office of Management and Budget Neera Tanden: Tanden started her career as a senior policy advisor to former first lady (President Bill Clinton’s administration). She was also served as an associate director for domestic policy during Clinton’s administration. She served as the president and chief executive officer of the think tank: Center of American Progress. She is the first woman of color to lead the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines: She becomes the first woman to lead this position. She has served on presidential administrations before, including the Obama administration where she served as principal deputy national security advisor and assistant to the president. She has worked in all three branches of the U.S. federal government over the last two decades.
United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai: The trade lawyer, known for confronting China, is the first woman of color to hold that title. The Asian-American and fluent Mandarin speaker was the lead advisor to the chairman and Democratic members of the Committee on Ways and Means on issues regarding international trade.
United States Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Linda Thomas-Greenfield: The UN ambassador brings 35 years of foreign service experience to the White House. She previously served as the director general of the U.S. Foreign Service and served as the top diplomat in the Bureau of African Affairs.
Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Dr. Cecilia Rouse: The labor economist spent her whole life working on issues of inequality and its intersection with gender, race, education and other matters. The former dean of Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs is the first African American to lead the council. She was also a former economic advisor to former President Obama.
Administrator of the Small Business Administration Sabel Guzman: Prior to her position, she served as the director of the Office of the Small Business Advocate in the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. She also worked for the Obama administration as deputy chief of staff and adviser in the Small Business Administration. An an entrepreneur at heart, Guzman has launched a few small businesses throughout the years.
Presidential Science Advisor and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy Eric Lander: Prior to his current position, the geneticist co-chaired the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) from 2009 to 2017.
Chief of Staff Ron Klain: Klain was the former chief of staff to former Vice President Biden during the Obama-Biden administration as well. He was also Biden’s senior adviser during his campaign.
As illustrated, President Biden has picked a group of diverse and experienced Cabinet members. He has more women on his Cabinet than any other U.S. president.