President-elect Joe Biden is beginning to announce the men and women who will serve in top roles in his administration.
Biden announced on December 7 key members of his health team who will lead the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his nominee for Health and Human Services secretary and Dr. Vivek Murthy as his nominee for US surgeon general.
On November 30, Biden announced several top posts for his economic team, including Janet Yellen as treasury secretary. He also named Cecilia Rouse to chair the Council of Economic Advisers and Neera Tanden to become director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The week prior, Biden announced several key members of his foreign policy and national security teams. He named Antony Blinken as his choice for secretary of state, Alejandro Mayorkas as secretary of homeland security, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as US ambassador to the United Nations, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and John Kerry as special presidential envoy for climate.
He had already announced that Ron Klain, one of his most trusted campaign advisers, will serve as his incoming chief of staff. And Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, and Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, a co-chair of Biden’s transition team and presidential campaign, will serve in top roles in the White House.
Each of Biden’s Cabinet nominees will need to be confirmed by the US Senate, which is currently controlled by Republicans. Two runoff elections in Georgia on January 5 could determine which party controls the chamber and impact the Cabinet confirmation process.
The Cabinet includes the vice president and the heads of 15 executive departments: Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury and Veterans Affairs.
Several key positions also have Cabinet-level rank: White House chief of staff, Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Office of Management & Budget director, United States Trade Representative ambassador, Council of Economic Advisers chairman and Small Business Administration administrator.
This list will be updated based on conversations with Biden allies and advisers and Democrats with knowledge of the matter.
Here’s who has been mentioned in conversations about potential top roles in the Biden administration:
Secretary of State
Antony Blinken (announced November 23)
Blinken served in the Obama administration as the deputy secretary of state, assistant to the president and principal deputy national security adviser. He served as the national security adviser to then-Vice President Biden and deputy assistant to the president during Obama’s first term. He has been a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Democratic staff director at the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
During the Clinton administration, Blinken served as a member of the National Security Council staff at the White House, and held roles as the special assistant to the president, senior director for European affairs, and senior director for speechwriting and then strategic planning. He was Clinton’s chief foreign policy speechwriter. Blinken was also being considered as national security adviser.
Previously under consideration:
Coons currently occupies the same Delaware Senate seat that Biden held for decades. A longtime Biden ally, Coons was one of the first members of Congress to endorse the former vice president when he declared his 2020 presidential candidacy. Coons sits on the following committees in the Senate: Foreign Relations, Appropriations, Judiciary, Small Business & Entrepreneurship and Select Committee on Ethics. Throughout his Senate career, Coons has been known for working across the aisle and forging strong relationships with high-profile Republicans who shared common interests.
Rice served in the Obama administration as UN ambassador and national security adviser. She served in Clinton’s administration as the special assistant to the president and senior director for African affairs at the White House, the assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department and the director of international organizations and peacekeeping at the National Security Council. Rice was one of a handful of women on Biden’s shortlist for a running mate.
Rice at one point was thought to be the clear choice to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, but in 2012 withdrew her name from consideration to avoid a bitter Senate confirmation battle. Rice was the target of Republican criticism after comments she made on Sunday morning TV shows defending the Obama administration’s handling of the September 11, 2012, attacks on the Benghazi consulate that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Secretary of the Treasury
Janet Yellen (announced November 30)
Yellen would make history as the first woman to serve as Treasury secretary if confirmed by the Senate. Yellen already made history as the first woman to have chaired the Federal Reserve, and did so from 2014 to 2018. She previously served for four years as the vice chair of the board, and president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for four years prior to that. Yellen was also chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 1997 to 1999.
Previously under consideration:
Brainard currently serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. She previously served as the Under Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury and counselor to the secretary of the Treasury during the Obama administration. Brainard was the US representative to the G-20 Finance Deputies and G-7 Deputies and was a member of the Financial Stability Board. During the Clinton administration, Brainard served as the deputy national economic adviser and deputy assistant to the President. She also served as Clinton’s personal representative to the G-7/G-8.
If chosen, the Federal Reserve governor would be the first woman to hold the powerful position. Brainard is not quite a consensus pick. Party progressives have other favorites, but neither would her nomination set off the kind of internal ideological war the incoming administration surely wants to avoid.
Sarah Bloom Raskin
Raskin was the deputy secretary of the US Department of the Treasury during the Obama administration. She was previously a governor of the Federal Reserve Board. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve Board, Raskin was the commissioner of financial regulation for the state of Maryland.
Outside of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Raskin, a former deputy secretary at the department, would be the top choice for most progressives. That she is less well known to the wider political world could also work in favor.
Deputy Treasury Secretary
Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo (announced November 30)
Adeyemo would be the first Black deputy Treasury secretary. Adeyemo currently serves as the president of the Obama Foundation. Adeyemo served during the Obama administration as the President’s senior international economic adviser, and also served as deputy national security adviser, deputy director of the National Economic Council, the first chief of staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and senior adviser and deputy chief of staff at the Department of the Treasury.
Secretary of Defense
Lloyd Austin (announced December 8)
Austin is a retired Army general and is the former commander of the US Central Command. If confirmed by the Senate, Austin would make history as the first Black person to lead the Pentagon. Austin has worked closely with Biden in the past. While Biden was vice president, Austin served as the vice chief of staff of the Army and commanding general of US forces in Iraq, and later the commander of CENTCOM. Biden and Austin had discussions on a range of issues, including those in the Middle East and Central and South Asia. Austin would need a congressional waiver to be confirmed for the civilian post because federal law requires seven years of retirement from active duty before taking on the role. Austin retired from active-duty service only four years ago.
Previously under consideration:
Duckworth is the junior senator from Illinois. An Iraq war veteran, Duckworth was the first Thai-American woman elected to Congress, the first female double-amputee in the US Senate and the first senator to give birth while in office.
Duckworth was appointed by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich to head the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs after running for Congress unsuccessfully in 2006. She served in the position for three years, and then in 2009, then-President Barack Obama appointed Duckworth as the assistant secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
If chosen and confirmed, Flournoy would be the first female secretary of defense. She served as the under secretary of defense for policy under Obama. Prior to her confirmation, Flournoy helped lead Obama’s transition team at the Defense Department. During the mid-1990’s, she served as principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and threat reduction, as well as deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy. She co-founded the Center for a New American Security, a bipartisan think tank, and WestExec Advisors, a strategic advisory firm. Flournoy was a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Murphy, America’s first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress, represented the state’s 8th Congressional District. He served on the House Armed Services, Select Intelligence and Appropriations committees. He later served as the 32nd under secretary of the Army under President Barack Obama.
Secretary of Homeland Security
Alejandro Mayorkas (announced November 23)
Mayorkas was deputy secretary of Homeland Security during the Obama administration, and served as the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. While at USCIS, Mayorkas oversaw the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was an executive action under Obama that protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation. President Donald Trump moved to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2017 and was ultimately blocked by the Supreme Court from doing so.
Previously under consideration:
Monaco played a critical role with Biden’s vice presidential selection committee, and served as Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser to Obama.
Garland was appointed to the US Court of Appeals in 1997, and formerly served as chief judge from 2013 through February 2020. He was nominated by President Barack Obama to the US Supreme Court after a vacancy was created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, but the Republican-controlled Senate refused to schedule a vote or even hold hearings on his nomination. Garland was a candidate for the Supreme Court twice before Obama officially nominated him – he was considered for seats ultimately filled by Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
Garland served as an assistant US attorney for the District of Columbia from 1989 to 1992, and as deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the Justice Department from 1993 to 1994. Prior to his appointment as a US circuit judge, he served as principal associate deputy attorney general. Garland supervised the investigation of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and oversaw the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh. He also led the investigations of the 1996 Olympics bombing in Atlanta and the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.
Johnson was the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security from 2013 to 2017 under the Obama administration. Previously, Johnson had been appointed by Obama to be general counsel of the Department of Defense. In the Clinton administration, Johnson served as general counsel of the Department of the Air Force.
Jones is the junior United States Senator from Alabama. He lost his reelection bid earlier this month to Republican Tommy Tuberville. President Bill Clinton appointed Jones as US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, and Jones was the lead prosecutor suing KKK members responsible for the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Jones was also involved in the prosecution of Eric Rudolph, whose 1998 attack on a Birmingham abortion clinic killed an off-duty police officer.
Monaco, who had also been under consideration for the secretary of Homeland Security post, played a critical role with Biden’s vice presidential selection committee, and served as Homeland Security and counterterrorism adviser to Obama. Prior to that job, Monaco served as an assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice, and was a chief of staff to then-Director of the FBI Robert Mueller.
Patrick was the first Black governor of of Massachusetts. He made a late entrance into the 2020 Democratic presidential race and ended his campaign after just a couple of months. He previously led the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice and worked as a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He has also served as the managing director of Bain Capital, the executive vice president and general counsel of Coca-Cola, and vice president and general counsel of Texaco.
Yates was fired by Trump from her role as acting attorney general. The stunning move came after CNN and other outlets reported that Yates told Justice Department lawyers not to make legal arguments defending Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees. Trump’s executive order, signed in January 2017, barred citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the following 90 days, suspended the admission of all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely suspended the Syrian refugee program. The executive order was later blocked by a federal judge, but the Supreme Court ultimately upheld a revised version of the ban.
Yates had been appointed by Obama and was set to serve until Trump’s nominee for attorney general was confirmed.
Secretary of the Interior
Haaland is a congresswoman from New Mexico, and is one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress. Biden has said he wants an administration that looks like the country. Haaland, the vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, would be the first Native American Cabinet secretary if she were to get an offer and accept it. Haaland also leads the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
Udall is the senior senator from New Mexico. He previously was the US representative for the state’s 3rd Congressional District. In 1990, hr was elected New Mexico attorney general, and was reelected in 1994. Udall also was chief counsel to the New Mexico Department of Health and Environment, and he fought for stronger environmental and health protections.
Secretary of Commerce
Yang is an entrepreneur and former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. He rose from obscurity to become a highly-visible candidate, and his supporters are sometimes referred to as the “Yang Gang.” His presidential campaign was centered around the idea of universal basic income, and providing every US citizen with $1,000 a month, or $12,000 a year. His campaign slogan was “MATH,” or “Make America Think Harder.” Yang joined CNN as a political commentator in February, after dropping out of the presidential race.
Secretary of Labor
Levin is a popular progressive who is also growing his base of support with labor leaders, including at the Communications Workers of America. The United Auto Workers and National Nurses United unions are backing the Michigan congressman for the role. Like Walsh, Levin has a background as an organizer with major unions. But he also has credibility with climate activists for having helped create Michigan’s Green Jobs Initiative.
Nelson is the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA. She cemented her image as a rising star of the labor movement during a prolonged government shutdown that stretched from December 2018 to January 2019. During the shutdown, Nelson appeared on cable television and used social media to warn of the dangers of not paying airport workers, and called for a general strike at an AFL-CIO gathering in January.
Sanders is reaching out to potential supporters in labor to ask for their support as he mounts a campaign for the job. But he is viewed as a long shot and so far has received mix reactions from labor leaders. In his public comments before and after the election, he focused on a 100-day agenda for the Congress. But with Democrats likely needing to win both Georgia runoffs to take control of the Senate, running a powerful agency might have become more appealing.
Sanders told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday that if Biden asked him to join his Cabinet as Labor secretary, he would accept the nomination. “If I had a portfolio that allowed me to stand up and fight for working families, would I do it? Yes, I would,” Sanders said.
Walsh is the mayor of Boston, and is AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s pick for the job, a big endorsement in what could soon turn into a contentious debate between moderate Democrats and progressives, who will favor Sen. Bernie Sanders or Michigan Rep. Andy Levin. Walsh grew up in a union family and became a top Boston labor leader before being elected mayor.
Health and Human Services Secretary
Xavier Becerra (announced December 7)
Becerra is the first Latino to hold the office in the history of the state. He previously served 12 terms in Congress as a member of the US House of Representatives, and was the first Latino to serve as a member of the Ways And Means Committee. He also served as the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and was the ranking member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security. Becerra also served one term in the California Legislature and is a former deputy attorney general with the California Department of Justice.
He was also under consideration to serve as US attorney general.
Previously under consideration:
Granholm served two terms as governor of Michigan. Before that, she served as the attorney general of Michigan, and was the first woman elected to that role. Granholm also is a CNN contributor. She was a federal prosecutor in Detroit and was later appointed to Wayne County Corporation Counsel. Granholm began her career in public service as a judicial clerk for Michigan’s 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals. She is also being considered for other posts.
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Grisham was the first Democratic Latina to be elected governor in the US. Grisham was elected to Congress in 2011 and served three terms representing New Mexico’s 1st congressional district. She was chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Grisham was under consideration to serve as Biden’s vice president.
Murthy, a doctor of internal medicine, is the co-chair of Biden’s coronavirus advisory board. He previously served as the US surgeon general after being nominated by Obama. He resigned in April 2017 at the request of the Trump administration. He was confirmed by the Senate after facing opposition from Senate Republicans for calling to treat gun violence as a public health issue.
Raimondo is the first woman governor of Rhode Island. She previously served as the general treasurer of the state. Raimondo was elected governor in 2014 and won reelection in 2018. That same year, Raimondo was elected to serve as the chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association. Raimondo was among the women considered for Biden’s running mate. She has said she’s no longer a candidate for the role.
US Surgeon General
Vivek Murthy (announced December 7)
Murthy served as US surgeon general during the Obama administration from 2014 to 2017 and would reprise his role if confirmed by the Senate. As surgeon general under Obama, Murthy helped lead the national response to the Ebola and Zika viruses and the opioid crisis, among other health challenges.
Murthy, a doctor of internal medicine, has been a top health adviser to Biden since the campaign. He was part of Biden’s public health advisory committee as the pandemic first took hold in the US and has been serving as a co-chair of the President-elect’s Covid-19 advisory board during the transition.
Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary
Biden is expected to nominate Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, two people familiar with the transition told CNN. Fudge has represented Ohio’s 11th Congressional District since 2008. The congresswoman serves on a number of committees, including the House Administration, Agriculture, and Education and Labor committees. She previously chaired the Congressional Black Caucus. Fudge made history as the first woman and first African American to be elected mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio. She served as mayor from 2000 to 2008. She began her career in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
Keisha Lance Bottoms
Bottoms is the mayor of Atlanta and is a rising star of the Democratic Party. Bottoms stepped into the national spotlight when she denounced vandalism in her city as “chaos” after demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by police in Minneapolis. Bottoms is a former judge and city council member. She was considered as a potential running mate for Biden.
Biden is expected to nominate Tom Vilsack to lead the Department of Agriculture, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN. Vilsack served as agriculture secretary for the entirety of President Barack Obama’s time in the White House. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in January 2009, and served in that post until he stepped down in 2017 shortly before President Donald Trump took office. In 1998, Vilsack became the first Democrat elected governor of Iowa in more than 30 years. He served as governor from 1999 to 2007. During his time as governor, he served for one year as chair of the Democratic Governors Association. In 2006, Vilsack filed a statement of candidacy to run in the 2008 presidential race, but he dropped out of the race in February 2007. He ultimately endorsed Hillary Clinton for president and became co-chairman of her national campaign.
Emanuel is a former mayor of Chicago and former chief of staff to President Barack Obama. He previously served in the US House of Representatives. He worked in the Clinton administration as an adviser to the President.
Emanuel’s record in Chicago could be a major hurdle to confirmation in the Senate, particularly among progressives, considering the city’s crime rate and the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald, which is the leading reason he did not seek a third term as mayor.
Garcetti is the mayor of Los Angeles. He was first elected to the role in 2013 and won reelection in 2017. He was previously a member of the Los Angeles City Council and served as council president. Garcetti is the first Jewish mayor of Los Angeles.
Secretary of Education
Weingarten is the president of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO and has long pushed for education reform. Prior to holding that role, she was the president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2. Weingarten served on an education reform commission put together by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She also chaired New York City’s Municipal Labor Committee.
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency
Inslee is the governor of Washington state, and previously served in the US House of Representatives. He was a Democratic presidential candidate in the 2020 election. Inslee is dedicated to addressing climate change and other environmental issues, and made the environment the central focus of his 2020 presidential bid. While in the US House of Representatives, he served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield (announced November 23)
Thomas-Greenfield is a career diplomat who would return to public service after retiring from a 35-year career with the US Foreign Service in 2017. Under the Obama administration, Thomas-Greenfield served as assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that post, she served as director general of the Foreign Service and director of human resources. Thomas-Greenfield has served as an ambassador to Liberia, and has also been posted to Switzerland, Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria and Jamaica. Thomas-Greenfield served as principal deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs from 2006 to 2008 and as deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration from 2004 to 2006. Since retiring in 2017, Thomas-Greenfield has led the Africa practice at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a diplomacy firm chaired by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Axios first reported the possibility of Thomas-Greenfield being nominated.
Previously under consideration:
Buttigieg is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Buttigieg’s presidential bid was historic – he was the first out gay man to launch a competitive campaign for president, and he broke barriers by becoming the first gay candidate to earn primary delegates for a major party’s presidential nomination.
Director of National Intelligence
Avril Haines (announced November 23)
If confirmed by the Senate, Haines would become the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence. Haines served as assistant to the president and principal deputy national security adviser to President Barack Obama. She chaired the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee, which is responsible for formulating the administration’s national security and foreign policy. Haines previously served as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Avril was also legal adviser to the NSC. She served as deputy chief counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee while Biden served as chairman.
National Security Adviser
Jake Sullivan (announced November 23)
Sullivan is a senior policy adviser to President-elect Joe Biden. He served in the Obama administration as national security adviser to then-Vice President Joe Biden and director of policy planning at the US Department of State. He also was deputy chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sullivan was Clinton’s senior policy adviser during her 2016 presidential campaign, and previously served as Clinton’s deputy policy director during her 2008 presidential primary campaign. He was a member of Barack Obama’s debate preparation team for his general election campaign.
Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
John Kerry (announced November 23)
In addition to serving as a special envoy to the president on climate, Kerry will sit on the National Security Council. Kerry was President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017, and was the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in 2004. He previously served in the Senate from 1985 to 2012, and was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry in 2019 was a key figure in the creation of World War Zero, an organization dedicated to combating the global climate crisis. He was a key campaign surrogate for Biden in the 2020 rage, and was a co-chair of the Biden-Sanders unity task force focused on climate. He was also one of the architects of the Paris climate agreement to reduce global emissions in the Obama administration, which Trump later withdrew the US from.
Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Neera Tanden (announced November 30)
Tanden would be the first woman of color and first South Asian American to become director of the Office of Management and Budget if confirmed by the Senate. Tanden is the CEO and president of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, and is the CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Tanden previously served as a senior adviser for health reform at the US Department of Health and Human Services. She was the director of domestic policy for the Obama campaign, and served as policy director for Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign.
Council of Economic Advisers
Cecilia Rouse (announced November 30)
Rouse would be the first woman of color to chair the Council of Economic Advisers if confirmed by the Senate. Rouse has served as the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, as well as a professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University. Rouse previously served as a member of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. She also worked at the National Economic Council in the Clinton administration as a special assistant to the President.
Chief of Staff
Ron Klain (announced on November 11)
Klain served as Biden’s chief of staff in the Obama White House and was also a senior aide to the President. He previously served as the chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore and Attorney General Janet Reno. Klain was appointed in 2014 by President Barack Obama to serve as the White House Ebola Response Coordinator. In 2000, he was the General Counsel for the Gore Recount Committee. Klain has been a top debate preparation adviser to Biden, Obama, Bill Clinton, Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.
Deputy Chief of Staff
Jen O’Malley Dillon (announced November 17)
O’Malley Dillon will join Biden’s incoming administration as a deputy White House chief of staff. O’Malley Dillon was Biden’s presidential campaign manager and has served numerous other political campaigns – including former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s failed 2020 presidential primary campaign and both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. She is expected to have the operations portfolio in the White House – a role Jim Messina played in Obama’s first term. She has held a number of top jobs within the universe of Democratic organizations, including executive director of the Democratic National Committee and the founding partner at Precision Strategies, a Democratic consulting firm.
Senior Adviser to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement
Cedric Richmond (announced November 17)
Richmond will serve as senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Richmond was a national co-chairman of the Biden campaign and is currently a co-chair of the Biden-Harris transition team. Richmond has represented Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district in the US House of Representatives since 2011. He previously served as the chairman of the influential Congressional Black Caucus.
White House press secretary
Jen Psaki (announced November 29)
Psaki was President Barack Obama’s White House communications director, and was the State Department spokesperson under the Obama administration, and previously served as deputy White House communications director and deputy White House press secretary. She has worked on three presidential campaigns, including as traveling press secretary for the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign and traveling press secretary and senior adviser for the 2012 campaign, and as deputy press secretary for John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
White House communications director
Kate Bedingfield (announced November 29)
Bedingfield was the deputy campaign manager and communications director for Biden’s presidential campaign. She worked at the White House under the Obama administration as Biden’s communications director. She previously worked at the Motion Pictures Association of America, where she was the vice president of corporate communications. Bedingfield was also the spokeswoman for John Edwards’ 2008 presidential campaign, and the communications director for Jeanne Shaheen’s 2008 Senate campaign in New Hampshire.
Principal deputy press secretary
Karine Jean-Pierre (announced November 29)
Jean-Pierre was a senior adviser to Biden’s campaign and later served as chief of staff to Kamala Harris. Jean-Pierre worked for Barack Obama’s and Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaigns and served as a political analyst for NBC and MSNBC. She would also come to the team with connections in activism following her role as chief public affairs officer at MoveOn.org and on the campaign for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Initiative.
Senior adviser and chief spokesperson for the Vice President
Symone Sanders (announced November 29)
Sanders was a senior adviser to the Biden 2020 campaign. Sanders worked as national press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential campaign. She later joined CNN as a political commentator. She is also under consideration for principal deputy press secretary.
Deputy White House communications director
Pili Tobar (announced November 29)
Tobar previously served as the deputy director for America’s Voice, a group working for immigrant rights. She served as the Hispanic media director for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the national director of Hispanic media and western regional press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, the communications director for Arizona Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego and communications director for the Latino Victory Project.
Communications director for the Vice President
Ashley Etienne (announced November 29)
Etienne was a senior adviser on the Biden campaign and previously served as communications director and senior adviser to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and was the first woman and person of color to hold the position. Etienne was a special assistant to the President and director of communications for the Cabinet under the Obama administration, and also led communications on Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.
Communications director for the first lady
Elizabeth Alexander (announced November 29)
Alexander worked as a federal prosecutor in the US Attorneys’ offices in Washington, DC and Alexandria, Virginia. Alexander also served as press secretary for the United Nations Foundation, press secretary to Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, communications director for California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, and deputy press secretary for Schumer.
Senior Adviser to the President
Mike Donilon (announced November 17)
Donilon will serve as senior adviser to the president. He served as the chief strategist for the Biden campaign, and was responsible for overseeing the campaign’s messaging, television advertising, speechwriting and polling. Donilon previously served as a counselor to then-Vice President Biden in the Obama White House.
Counsel to the President
Dana Remus (announced November 17)
Remus will serve as counsel to the president. She served as general counsel to the Biden campaign, and previously was the general counsel to the Obama Foundation and former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama’s personal office. During the Obama administration, Remus was the deputy assistant to the President and deputy counsel for ethics.
Counselor to the President
Steve Ricchetti (announced November 17)
Ricchetti will serve as a counselor to the president. He served as chairman of the Biden campaign. Ricchetti has previously served in senior roles on Capitol Hill and at the White House, including as assistant to the president, chief of staff to then-Vice President Biden, deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, deputy assistant to the President for legislative affairs for Clinton during the impeachment hearings, and executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 1992.
Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Julie Rodriguez (announced November 17)
Rodriguez will serve as the director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Rodriguez served as deputy campaign manager on the Biden campaign. She previously was the national polling director and traveling chief of staff for Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign. During the Obama administration, Rodriguez served as special assistant to the president and senior deputy director of public engagement in the Office of Public Engagement.
Director of Oval Office Operations
Annie Tomasini (announced November 17)
Tomasini will serve as director of Oval Office operations. Tomasini currently serves as Biden’s traveling chief of staff. She previously served as deputy press secretary for then-Vice President Biden and press secretary for Biden when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel
Cathy Russell (announced November 20)
Russell serves on the advisory board of the Biden-Harris transition team and served as vice chair of the campaign. Russel served for all eight years in the Obama administration at the White House and the State Department. She served as deputy assistant to the president and chief of staff to then-second lady Jill Biden. She also was the US Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues.
She previously served as senior adviser on international women’s issues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as associate deputy attorney general at the US Department of Justice, as staff director of the Senate Judiciary Committee and as senior counsel to Sen. Patrick Leahy.
Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs
Louisa Terrell (announced November 20)
Terrell oversees legislative affairs for the Biden-Harris transition team. She previously served as special assistant to the president for legislative affairs in the Obama administration. Terrell served as an adviser to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, as deputy chief of staff for Biden when he was in the US Senate and chief of staff to Sen. Cory Booker.
White House Social Secretary
Carlos Elizondo (announced November 20)
Elizondo was a special assistant to the president and social secretary to the Bidens for all eight years of the Obama administration. He will be the first Hispanic American appointed to this position. During the Clinton administration, Elizondo served in both the White House and in the Office of the US Chief of Protocol.
Chief of Staff to Jill Biden
Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon (announced November 17)