The women joining the Biden-Harris administration
President-elect Joe Biden is assembling his Cabinet and filling roles in his White House administration. The former vice president has already revealed some of his choices to the public, and various news outlets have reported on other likely picks.
Biden faces pressure to please both progressive and moderates—and to get his Cabinet choices through a potential GOP-controlled Senate. The Biden team, which made history with the election of Vice President Kamala Harris as the first female, first Black, and first Indian-American veep, is also keeping gender and racial diversity in mind.
Two of Biden’s reported choices would see women run agencies that have never before had a female leader: Treasury and Defense.
These are the women who are so far expected to join Biden’s Cabinet and White House. This story will be updated with further announcements.
Kate Bedingfield, White House Communications Director
Longtime Biden aide Kate Bedingfield will join the White House as communications director. During the 2020 campaign, Bedingfield has worked as deputy campaign manager and communications director.
Bedingfield is one of seven hires who will be part of a senior communications staff entirely made up of women, a first for any White House.
Avril Haines, director of national intelligence
Biden’s transition team announced on Monday that he would choose Avril Haines as his director of national intelligence. Haines had also reportedly been under consideration to lead the CIA—a position that reports in to this one.
Haines would be the first woman to hold this role and would be the highest-ranking woman in the intelligence community. She is a former deputy director of the CIA.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary
Jen Psaki, a communications veteran of Democratic campaigns and administrations, will be the Biden administration’s press secretary. Psaki served as communications director in the Obama White House and State Department spokesperson under Secretary of State John Kerry.
During the transition period, Psaki is overseeing the incoming administration’s confirmations team.
Dana Remus, White House counsel
Biden and Obama team legal veteran Dana Remus is the President-elect’s choice for White House counsel. Remus was general counsel for the 2020 campaign and was deputy assistant to the President and deputy counsel for ethics during the Obama administration.
Cecilia Rouse, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
The Biden transition team announced that Cecilia Rouse is the President-elect’s choice to chair the Council of Economic Advisers. Rouse, currently dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, was a member of the council during the Obama administration.
If confirmed, Rouse would be the first Black woman to chair the 74-year-old council.
Symone Sanders, senior adviser and chief spokesperson for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
Prominent Biden campaign senior adviser Symone Sanders will join the administration as a senior adviser and chief spokesperson for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Sanders is the former press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential bid.
Neera Tanden, director of the Office of Management and Budget
Center for American Progress CEO Neera Tanden is Biden’s choice to lead the Office of Management and Budget, the agency that implements federal policy on behalf of the President.
If confirmed, the Biden transition team notes, Tanden would be the first woman of color and the first South Asian American to lead the OMB.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the UN
Biden’s pick to represent the United States at the United Nations is Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a 35-year diplomatic veteran. His team announced the choice on Monday. The President-elect is also expected to restore the position to Cabinet-level after President Trump downgraded it.
Thomas-Greenfield has served as U.S. ambassador to Liberia and assistant secretary of state for African affairs under the Obama administration.
Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control
The President-elect chose, Rochelle Walensky, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, as director of the Centers for Disease Control.
The Biden transition team points out Walensky’s expertise in infectious diseases, especially on HIV/AIDS screening and care in South Africa.
Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary
Biden will name former Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen as his nominee for treasury secretary.
Yellen was the first woman to lead the Fed; she would be the first woman to head the Treasury and the first person to have run the Treasury, the central bank, and the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Yellen was chosen from a field that included Fed governor Lael Brainard and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She is seen as a choice that appeals to both moderate and progressive Democrats.