Biden's transition moves ahead

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 5:00 a.m. ET, December 2, 2020
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8:42 a.m. ET, November 30, 2020

Biden is expected to formally name key members of his economic team today

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President-elect Joe Biden holds a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 24.
President-elect Joe Biden holds a news conference in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 24. Mark Makela/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is set to formally name key members of his economic team on Monday, with the long-expected announcement of Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary, CNN has learned, along with two other women in top roles on a diverse team that will help him navigate the nation's punishing fiscal headwinds in hopes of building an economic recovery.

He is expected to name Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget, two people familiar with the appointment said, elevating Tanden, the CEO and president of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, into the top ranks of his administration.

He's poised to name Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton economist, to lead the Council of Economic Advisers, which would put another Black woman in a high-profile role of Biden's top advisers. Rouse served on the council during the Obama administration.

Among the barrier-breaking nominees Biden is announcing is Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo, president of the Obama Foundation in Chicago, for deputy Treasury Secretary, serving under Yellen. If confirmed, he would be the first Black deputy Treasury Secretary. Yellen, if confirmed, would be the first woman to serve as Treasury Secretary.

Adeyemo served on the National Economic Council of the Obama administration and last fall was named as the first president of the Obama Foundation.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Biden's expected economic picks.

The announcements are expected to be made Monday in a statement, officials said, with the team set to be formally introduced by Biden during an event Tuesday at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.

8:36 a.m. ET, November 30, 2020

Here's who will be part of Biden's all-female senior White House communications team

From CNN's Kate Sullivan and Sarah Mucha

Clockwise from top left: Symone Sanders, Ashley Etienne, Jen Psaki, Pili Tobar, Kate Bedingfield and Karine Jean-Pierre. Not pictured is Elizabeth Alexander.
Clockwise from top left: Symone Sanders, Ashley Etienne, Jen Psaki, Pili Tobar, Kate Bedingfield and Karine Jean-Pierre. Not pictured is Elizabeth Alexander. AP/Getty Images/Sipa/US Department of State

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Sunday announced an all-female White House senior communications team.

"I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women. These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better," Biden said in a statement.

Here is a look at who will be joining the team:

  • Jen Psaki, a veteran communications operative who served as White House communications director under President Obama, will take the podium as press secretary. Psaki currently runs the confirmations team transition.
  • Kate Bedingfield, who served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director on Biden's campaign, has been appointed to White House Communications Director. Bedingfield tweeted that she is "unspeakably proud to have the opportunity to serve as White House Communications Director."  
  • Pili Tobar, who served as the communications director for coalitions on the Biden campaign, will join Bedingfield in the White House as deputy communications director.
  • Symone Sanders, who served as a senior advisor on the Biden campaign, has been named senior advisor and chief spokesperson for Harris. Sanders became the youngest presidential press secretary while working on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2016. 
  • Ashley Etienne will be communications director in Harris' office. Etienne served as a senior advisor on the Biden campaign, a position she came to after acting as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's communications director and senior advisor. She was both the first woman and person of color to hold that position. 
  • Karine Jean Pierre will act as principal deputy press secretary. During the campaign, she served as senior advisor to Biden and chief of staff to Harris on the Biden-Harris campaign. 
  • Finally, Elizabeth Alexander, who has long served with the Bidens, including in the White House as then-vice president Biden's press secretary, will serve as communications director for first lady Jill Biden. 

Read more here.