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Bi­den build­ing di­verse Cab­i­net

He vowed to seek team that ‘ looks like Amer­ica’

- Bart Jansen and Deirdre Sh­es­green U.S. News · US Politics · Politics · Immigration · Society · Joe Biden · U.S. Treasury · Department of Homeland Security · Homeland · Janet Yellen · Federal Reserve System · Donald Trump · Mexico · Fidel Castro · United States of America · Central Intelligence Agency · Linda · United Nations · Sullivan · John Kerry · Wilmington, DE · Delaware · Wilmington · Steven Mnuchin · Congress of the United States · Democratic Party (United States) · Republican Party (United States) · Council · Barack Obama · U.S. government · Council of Economic Advisers · Bill Clinton · Yale University · United States Senate · California · Hollywood · Hollywood · University of California, Berkeley · University of California, Santa Barbara · Brookings · Louisiana · David Miller · Carnegie Endowment for International Peace · Loyola Law School · Baker · Benjamin Wittes

Pres­i­dent- elect Joe Bi­den be­gan build­ing out his Cab­i­net on Mon­day with his­toric picks for Trea­sury, the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity and his point per­son on in­tel­li­gence mat­ters.

He chose Janet Yellen to be­come Trea­sury sec­re­tary, tap­ping the for­mer chair­woman of the pow­er­ful Fed­eral Re­serve to guide his efforts to steer the pan­demic- hit econ­omy out of cri­sis. If confirmed, Yellen would be the coun­try’s first woman Trea­sury sec­re­tary.

Bi­den se­lected Ale­jan­dro May­orkas to be­come the first im­mi­grant and first Latino to lead the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, which over­sees im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy and bor­der se­cu­rity among its vast port­fo­lio. The depart­ment has been one of the most con­tentious are­nas in the fed­eral gov­ern­ment as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sought to tighten bor­der se­cu­rity, re­duce refugee ad­mis­sions, in­crease de­por­ta­tions and build a larger wall along the bor­der with Mex­ico.

May­orkas, a Cuban Amer­i­can who ar­rived with his par­ents as refugees from Fidel Cas­tro’s regime in 1960, has been deputy sec­re­tary of the depart­ment and headed its cit­i­zen­ship agency.

Ad­min­is­tra­tion ‘ like Amer­ica’

Bi­den had said he sought a di­verse Cab­i­net that “looks like Amer­ica,” and his choices Mon­day would cre­ate one of the most di­verse for­eign pol­icy staffs in his­tory. He plans to nom­i­nate Avril Haines, the for­mer deputy direc­tor of the CIA, to serve as the first fe­male direc­tor of na­tional in­tel­li­gence. He plans to nom­i­nate Linda Thomas- Greenfield, a Black woman who grew up in the seg­re­gated South, as U. S. am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions.

Bi­den chose Antony Blinken as sec­re­tary of state, Jake Sul­li­van as na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser and John Kerry as spe­cial pres­i­den­tial en­voy for cli­mate.

Bi­den was sched­uled to in­tro­duce his per­son­nel picks Tues­day af­ter­noon in Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware.

The Trea­sury Depart­ment will play a cen­tral role in deal­ing with the eco­nomic im­pact of the pan­demic and with in­ter­na­tional trade. Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin has ne­go­ti­ated with Congress over tril­lions of dol­lars in coro­n­avirus aid checks for in­di­vid­u­als, a loan pro­gram for small busi­nesses and fed­eral aid to larger in­dus­tries. He ne­go­ti­ated Trump’s tax cut in 2017 for busi­ness and in­di­vid­ual in­come tax.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions stalled be­tween Congress and the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion over fur­ther emer­gency spend­ing to deal with the pan­demic. Democrats sought a $ 2 tril­lion pack­age, with an­other round of di­rect pay­ments to in­di­vid­u­als, while Repub­li­cans pro­posed a $ 500 bil­lion pack­age fo­cus­ing on the loan pro­gram for small busi­nesses. Bi­den urged Congress to ap­prove more re­lief be­fore he takes office Jan. 20.

Yellen ar­gued in Au­gust that Congress needed to ap­prove ad­di­tional re­lief to spur growth amid the coro­n­avirus pan­demic. As a mem­ber of the Cli­mate Lead­er­ship Coun­cil, she sup­ported tax­ing car­bon emis­sions as the most efficient way to curb green­house gas emis­sions.

Yellen be­came the first fe­male chair of the Fed­eral Re­serve Sys­tem in Fe­bru­ary 2014 dur­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion. She served as head of the Coun­cil of Eco­nomic Ad­vis­ers to Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton. When she earned her doc­tor­ate in eco­nomics from Yale Univer­sity in 1971, she was the only woman in her class.

Aaron David Miller, a se­nior fel­low at the Carnegie En­dow­ment for In­ter­na­tional Peace, said the team Bi­den an­nounced Mon­day is “grounded in sub­stance” and will bring a high level of com­pe­tence and skill to the in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The diver­sity of the ad­vis­ers, he said, is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant, “given how trib­al­ized, how po­lar­ized, how dys­func­tional Amer­i­can pol­i­tics is.”

Link­ing for­eign pol­icy and na­tional se­cu­rity to Amer­ica’s diver­sity will help con­vey that they are not just “elite” are­nas, he said.

“This no­tion that, in fact, there is some­thing that we can still de­scribe in our highly po­lar­ized en­vi­ron­ment as the na­tional in­ter­est, and they’re go­ing to work to fur­ther it, that’s re­ally im­por­tant,” Miller said.

Miller, who has worked for a half­dozen for­mer sec­re­taries of state from both par­ties, said it will also be im­por­tant for Bi­den to name a Repub­li­can to a high- level po­si­tion “and not just as a to­ken.”

May­orkas served as deputy sec­re­tary of Home­land Se­cu­rity dur­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s sec­ond term. The post placed him as sec­ond- in- com­mand of the depart­ment, which has a $ 60 bil­lion bud­get and a work­force of 240,000 in­di­vid­u­als through­out the world.

May­orkas di­rected the depart­ment’s Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Ser­vices, the agency charged with op­er­at­ing the largest im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem in the world. The agency had 18,000 work­ers and a $ 3 bil­lion bud­get.

May­orkas was confirmed by the Se­nate as U. S. at­tor­ney for the cen­tral district of Cal­i­for­nia, where he led a team of 240 as­sis­tant U. S. at­tor­neys. He tried nu­mer­ous crim­i­nal and civil cases, in­clud­ing Op­er­a­tion Po­lar­cap, which was then the largest money laun­der­ing case in the na­tion, and the fed­eral tax eva­sion and money laun­der­ing case against famed Hol­ly­wood Madam Heidi Fleiss.

He grad­u­ated from the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley and re­ceived his law de­gree from Loy­ola Law School.

‘ Merit mat­ters’

The direc­tor of na­tional in­tel­li­gence serves as the prin­ci­pal in­tel­li­gence ad­viser to the pres­i­dent, en­sur­ing the in­te­gra­tion of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s sprawl­ing spy agen­cies. Haines would be the first woman to head the in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity, where the up­per ech­e­lons have tra­di­tion­ally been dom­i­nated by men, if she is confirmed.

Ben­jamin Wittes, edi­tor in chief of Law­fare, a na­tional se­cu­rity blog, and a se­nior fel­low in gov­er­nance stud­ies at the Brook­ings In­sti­tu­tion, said Haines is “one of the most gen­er­ally and di­versely tal­ented na­tional se­cu­rity prac­ti­tion­ers and thinkers I know.”

Bi­den’s de­ci­sion to tap a woman for that role is im­por­tant, he said. “The rea­son is not that Avril will run things dif­fer­ently from the way a man might. It’s that if some­one like Avril can’t get that job, it would re­ally high­light the struc­tural im­ped­i­ments to women in na­tional se­cu­rity.” It sig­nals, he said, “that merit mat­ters.”

Thomas- Greenfield, who grew up un­der seg­re­ga­tion, said the KKK reg­u­larly burned crosses on the lawns in her home­town of Baker, Louisiana. Her mother had only an eighth grade ed­u­ca­tion, and her fa­ther was forced to leave school in the third grade.

“My mother taught me to lead with the power of kind­ness and com­pas­sion to make the world a bet­ter place,” Thomas- Greenfield said Mon­day in a tweet. “I’ve car­ried that les­son with me through­out my ca­reer in For­eign Ser­vice – and, if confirmed, will do the same as Am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions.”

 ??  ?? Am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions:
Linda ThomasGree­nfield
Am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions: Linda ThomasGree­nfield
 ??  ?? Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity:
Ale­jan­dro May­orkas
Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity: Ale­jan­dro May­orkas
 ??  ?? Sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury:
Janet Yellen
Sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury: Janet Yellen
 ??  ?? Direc­tor of Na­tional In­tel­li­gence:
Avril Haines
Direc­tor of Na­tional In­tel­li­gence: Avril Haines
 ?? SU­SAN WALSH/ AP ?? Ale­jan­dro May­orkas, who served in Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, was cho­sen by Joe Bi­den to head Home­land Se­cu­rity.
SU­SAN WALSH/ AP Ale­jan­dro May­orkas, who served in Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, was cho­sen by Joe Bi­den to head Home­land Se­cu­rity.

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