UPDATED: 2:00 p.m. ET, Dec. 21 —
Joelle Gamble has been named the Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. As a newly minted member of the National Economic Council, Gamble brings with her a multitude of experience, currently serving on the Biden-Harris Transition’s domestic economic policy team.
“I’m honored to join the National Economic Council and work with such a brilliant team,” she tweeted on Monday. “There’s a hard road ahead to deliver for all Americans and address the harm done to our communities. But, I believe we CAN build a more equitable and just future.”
On Dec. 17 the Biden administration formally announced the nomination of Michael Regan as the next Environmental Protection Agency administrator, according to The Washington Post. Regan brings with him a wealth of knowledge around climate change and fuel efficiency. Regan, 44, currently heads the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. If confirmed, he will be the first Black man to run the EPA after Lisa Jackson, who served as EPA administrator from 2009-2013.
Susan Rice will lead the White House Domestic Policy Council, according to a report by POLITICO. Rice, Barack Obama‘s former national security adviser was initially vetted by President-elect Joe Biden for the role of vice president and also made the short-list for Secretary of State.
Rice brings with her decades of experience in foreign policy as a former Ambassador to the U.N. Rice will work alongside political leaders to ensure the Biden-Harris administration’s domestic policy decisions and programs are implemented according to the president’s agenda. The position does not require a Senate confirmation.
Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge has been picked to be the next U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary, according to a new report. The highly influential former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus was rumored to be angling to lead the Department of Agriculture, but President-Elect Joe Biden signaled he’d prefer her at HUD. If confirmed, she would be the first Black woman to lead the federal housing agency.
On Monday, retired Gen. Lloyd Austin was selected by Biden to lead the Department of Defense, Politico reported Monday night. If confirmed, Austin would be the first Black secretary of defense. Axios reported last month that Austin was a longshot candidate.
Austin made the cut amid Biden getting pressure from Black and Latino leaders for him to name more minorities to his cabinet. It was unclear if that compelled Biden to act. However, according to Politico, former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson — another Black man — was seen as a risky pick because of his record as part of President Barack Obama’s administration.
Scroll down to find more information about Austin.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a career diplomat who served as ambassador to Liberia and as director-general of the Foreign Service, as well as assistant secretary for African affairs, was nominated to serve as the ambassador to the United Nations, making her the first and only Black candidate in his cabinet.
However, Politico reported that “it was not immediately clear if Biden intends to put the position in his Cabinet” since doing so could make her confirmation harder with a Republican-majority Senate.
Thomas-Greenfield joins the following cabinet nominees: Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, Antony Blinken, Secretary of State; Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor; John Kerry, climate envoy; Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security; Avril Haines; Director of National Intelligence; Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary; and Jen Psaki as White House press secretary. There’s a multitude of positions yet to be named.
The President-Elect has vowed to assemble a group of e1xecutive leaders for the government’s federal departments that “looks like America,” an ambiguous pledge that, between the lines, carries the connotation of appointing people who reflect the evolving racial makeup of the United States’ ever-browning population. Making the moment a bit more significant is the fact that Biden served as second in command to the nation’s first Black president, heightening expectations — whether fair or not — for multiple African Americans to serve in key cabinet roles.
However, Black folks make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, a statistic that suggests Biden could keep his word by appointing only two Black people, which is just about 13 percent of the 15 cabinet positions.
With Thomas-Greenfield, he would be halfway to meeting that quota.
With that said, there are still a good number of Black people reportedly under consideration to serve in Biden’s cabinet.
Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond officially joined the Biden administration last week after it was announced he would serve as a senior adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, which is not a cabinet position.
As it stands now, Donald Trump has had just one single Black person on his cabinet for his entire first term. But Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has left plenty to be desired in that position, to put it mildly, possibly placing pressure on Biden to not just replace him with a competent HUD secretary but also one who is Black. In fact, considering Trump has been openly racist against Black people while camouflaging that truth by nominally championing criminal justice reform and touting low Black unemployment numbers he inherited from President Barack Obama, Biden could potentially feel the pressure to name more than just two Black people to lead multiple cabinet positions after Black voters came out in historic numbers to help secure his election win.
Biden’s win has already made sure the country will have its first Black vice president, a post that has never been held by a woman until Kamala Harris is sworn-in to the post in January. He’s also vowed to name a Black woman to be a Supreme Court Justice if he gets the chance.
Now, as the Trump administration all but disintegrates into irrelevance during Trump’s lame-duck period of his presidency, people are looking to the future to see who will be Biden’s most trusted advisers and lead the 15 cabinet departments past the ruins in which they’ve effectively been left.
Biden’s commitment to racial diversity is well documented. Most recently, the Associated Press reported that Biden’s transition team is stacked with Black policy leaders.
And while ongoing nationwide protests against racism and police violence are demanding racial equality, there may not be any bigger stage for that to happen than the one on which Biden announces who he’s decided to nominate to serve in his cabinet. As such, scroll down and keep reading to find the names of Black people who are not only rumored as being under consideration but also the roles for which they’re reportedly being considered. At the end of the day, one thing is abundantly clear that cannot be said about the outgoing administration: They’re all fully competent.
The Black People Joe Biden Is Reportedly Considering For His Cabinet That ‘Looks Like America’ was originally published on newsone.com
1. Stacey AbramsSource:Getty
Including Stacey Abrams in Joe Biden’s administration is a no-brainer. Many folks have credited her voting rights organization Fair Fight’s groundwork in Georgia for flipping the state blue for the first time in 30 years with election results that all but sewed up Biden’s historic election. But it’s unclear whether that is something she would be interested in.
While Abrams did express interest in the prospects of being Biden’s vice-presidential running mate, her talents may not be best used in the cabinet, some folks have suggested.
Democratic leadership may see her true value in helping to turn out voters not just immediately in the Senate runoff elections in Georgia, but also nationally ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Either way, she would be nothing but an asset to Biden’s administration, even though she has not been associated with any cabinet role in particular.
2. Gen. Lloyd Austin, Department of DefenseSource:Getty
Austin, 67, is the first Black person to lead the United States Central Command and has more than 40 years of service to the American armed forces under his belt. He was also the 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army.
3. Rep. Karen Bass, HUD, HHSSource:WENN
The New York Times reported that Karen Bass, who was also on Biden’s shortlist of people he was vetting to be his VP pick, was a top contender to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Congresswoman who represents os Angeles just recently won her re-election and remains the Chair of the influential Congressional Black Caucus. Bass, who is a former physicians assistant, is also one of the names reportedly being touted for Secretary of Health and Human Services, a position that many feel should be occupied by a Black person in the medical field or with prior experience.
4. Darrell Blocker, CIA DirectorSource:Getty
Darrell Blocker has over 30 of experience in the U.S. intelligence community. He specializes in counterterrorism, security and intelligence, with a focus on Africa, Iran and North Korea. He’s also served in 10 foreign countries: Italy, Morocco, Nigeria, Okinawa, South Korea, Niger, Senegal, Uganda, Pakistan and Switzerland.
Blocker served as chief of the CIA operational training facility, deputy director of the Counterterrorism Center, chief of Africa Division and chief of station. Fox News, who first reported Blocker’s consideration hailed him as “one of the highest-serving persons of color to have served in the clandestine service.”
If nominated, he would be the first Black person to head the CIA, a department that has a long-storied history of distrust within Black communities.
5. Raphael Bostic, Treasury DepartmentSource:Getty
Raphael Bostic, the first African American president of one of the 12 Federal Reserve regional banks, is under consideration to be named to lead the Treasury Department. He was appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as its president and CEO in 2017 in part because of a lack of diversity.
“It’s not lost on me that I …am the first African American to lead a Federal Reserve institution,” Bostic, a professor at the University of Southern California, said at the time. “It’s kind of daunting. It’s an overwhelming thought. It’s a tremendous privilege. I look forward to this being a stepping stone for many others to have this opportunity as well.”
That same quote could very well apply if he is nominated to be the Treasury secretary.
6. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, HUDSource:Getty
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, reportedly being considered to lead HUD, has increased her Democratic profile in recent months following both attacks from the president and her role in helping to turn out voters in Atlanta who are credited with helping to cast the ballots that pushed Biden past Trump in the presidential election.
IN terms of her qualifications for the role, the New York Times reported that she “made affordable housing a priority, proposing a $1 billion public-private initiative to improve access to housing in Atlanta.
7. Carol Moseley Braun, Dept. Of InteriorSource:Getty
Braun made history in 1992, as the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Senate, representing the state of Illinois. Braun served from 1993-1999. Braun has stumped for Biden during his campaign and worked alongside him during her years on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Braun was invited by Biden to join the committee after the fallout over the handling over the Anita Hill case.
Never one to lean to tradition, Braun made her intentions known when she vied for the role of Biden’s Interior secretary in a recent interview with The Washington Post. If selected Braun would be the first Black person to serve, while overseeing the management and conservation of federal land and natural resources, including agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
“All I’ve done is let them know I’d like to be of service,” she told The Post. “I’m not going to get into an elbow fight or knife fight with anybody over this stuff. I know there’s intense competition.”
8. Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, HUDSource:Getty
Former Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown already has HUD and other presidential cabinet experience under his belt, the New York Times reminded readers. Not only was Brown “an adviser to Andrew Cuomo during his tenure as secretary of housing and urban development” but he also “worked on the Clinton-Gore transition team, and served at the Commerce Department during the Clinton administration.”
9. Rep. Val Demings, Homeland SecuritySource:Getty
Florida Rep. Val Demings, one of the House impeachment managers who successfully impeached the president last year, was also a finalist for Biden’s VP pick. The former police chief in Orlando has an undeniable history in law enforcement and is already a member of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. She is also a member of the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary.
10. Roger W. Ferguson Jr., Treasury DepartmentSource:Getty
Roger W. Ferguson Jr., the President and CEO of TIAA-CREF, the national pension fund for teachers, is reportedly being considered to lead the Treasury Department. He is also a former Federal Reserve vice chairman and governor and one of the multiple Black people reportedly under consideration for the role.
11. Rep. Marcia Fudge, Housing and Urban DevelopmentSource:Getty
Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge was reportedly being considered to lead the Agriculture Department. She is a member of the House Committee on Agriculture and the Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations.
Politico reported that Fudge “has made increasing food stamp benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program a primary issue” and “been fiercely critical of the nutrition rollbacks at USDA and other actions there, including the approach to scientific research.”
However, Biden decided that she would be a better fit to lead HUD.
12. Joelle Gamble, National Economic CouncilSource:Courtesy of Biden-Harris Transition Team
Joelle Gamble was named Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy on Dec. 21. Prior to her appointment, she served on the Biden-Harris Transition’s domestic economic policy team. Gamble was a principal at Omidyar Network, a social change venture established in 2004. She also worked as Senior Advisor to the President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, as well as the National Director of the Roosevelt Institute’s programming for enterprising leaders in public policy. A former community organizer, Gamble is a graduate of UCLA and Princeton University.
13. Mellody Hobson, Commerce and Treasury departmentsSource:Getty
Mellody Hobson, the President and co-CEO of Ariel Investments, is reportedly being considered to lead either the Department of Commerce or the Treasury Department.
Politico reported that the former chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation whose husband in film director George Lucas has “ties to the financial services sector” that “could rankle some progressives.”
14. Jeh Johnson, Department of Defense, attorney general, Director of National IntelligenceSource:Getty
Jeh Johnson, the former secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, is reportedly in the running to either lead the Department of Defense or become the next Attorney General or Director of National Intelligence.
Prior to leading the Department of Homeland Security, Johnson was a highly accomplished lawyer who served as General Counsel of the Department of Defense from 2009 to 2012 during the first Obama Administration. He’s also a graduate of Columbia Law School and Morehouse College.
15. Maurice Jones, HUD
Maurice Jones is being considered for the top HUD post.
The New York Times reported that Jones was a “top deputy at the department during the Obama administration” who “currently runs the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a financial institution that makes loans and provides grants to assist underserved communities.”
Jones is also the former Virginia secretary of commerce.
16. Deval Patrick, attorney generalSource:Getty
Patrick, 64, who started his career as an attorney, went on to become the assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Justice Department in President Bill Clinton’s administration from 1994 to 1997.
He launched a brief, unsuccessful presidential bid just about a year ago before quickly suspending it.
Patrick, originally from the Southside of Chicago, was the first African-American to become governor of Massachusetts, which was from 2007 to 2015. He was also an early supporter of Barack Obama’s initial presidential ambitions.
17. Michael Regan, EPA
Regan was nominated as the next Environmental Protection Agency administrator on Dec. 17 according to The Washington Post. At 44, he will be the first Black man to run the EPA, after Lisa Jackson, who served as EPA administrator from 2009-2013. If nominated, Regan will oversee policies relating to climate change, green energy and environmental racism, a topic that became a national conversation during the Flint water crisis.
18. Susan Rice, White House Domestic Policy Council DirectorSource:Getty
Susan Rice will head the Domestic Policy Council, where she will ensure the carrying out of President-elect Joe Biden’s domestic policies, including immigration, racial justice and climate change. Prior to the announcement, Rice was reportedly being considered for Secretary of State, a position that requires the type of foreign policy leadership experience she displayed while working as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Adviser under Obama.
She was also under consideration to be Biden’s vice-presidential running mate before he chose Harris.
Nominating Rice would likely reignite her comments describing South Carolina Sen. and Trump loyalist Lindsay Graham as a piece of shit.” Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank called Rice “a human lightning rod” and referenced accusations that she intentionally released incorrect information about the Benghazi scandal in 2012. However, Congress ultimately cleared Rice of any wrongdoing.
19. Symone Sanders, White House press secretary
While White House press secretary is not considered a cabinet-level position, it is still a high-profile role nonetheless that has never been filled by a Black person. Symone Sanders, a political strategist and cable news analyst, recently served as senior adviser for Biden’s presidential campaign.
Sanders was one of three Black women named to the Biden-Harris all female led communications team over the Thanksgiving weekend.
Sanders’ supporters playfully floated the idea that she could make an effective Secretary of Defense in March when a protester ran onstage during a speech Biden was giving in Los Angeles. After security pulled the protester away, a second protester rushed the stage, prompting Sanders to act quickly and drag her offstage.
The video footage went viral. Watch it here.
20. Bill Spriggs, Department of Labor
Bill Spriggs, the chief economist at the AFL-CIO conglomeration of labor unions, is reportedly being considered to lead the Department of Labor. His qualifications for the role are bolstered by the fact that he is also a former assistant secretary of Labor and a professor of economics at Howard University.
21. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, UN AmbassadorSource:Getty
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a career diplomat who served as ambassador to Liberia and as director-general of the Foreign Service, as well as assistant secretary for African affairs, was expected to be nominated to be Joe Biden’s ambassador to the United Nations, Politico reported.
If true, she would be the first Black person named to Biden’s cabinet.
“I don’t feel targeted as an African American. I feel targeted as a professional,” Thomas-Greenfield said at the time.
22. Heather McTeer Toney, EPA
Heather McTeer Toney, the senior director of Moms Clean Air Force, was reportedly in the running to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Politico described her in part as “a clean air activist” who is also the former regional director of the EPA’s Southeast Region.
23. Tony West, attorney generalSource:Getty
NPR reported that Tony West was among those being considered to serve as the U.S. attorney general, a position the current chief legal officer for Uber knows something about. The career lawyer served as the Associate Attorney General of the United States from 2012-2014 in Barack Obama’s administration. That made him the third highest-ranking official in the Department of Justice.
According to his official bio, in that role, he “supervised many of the department’s divisions, including the Civil Rights, Antitrust, Tax, Environment and Natural Resources, and Civil Divisions, as well as the Office of Justice Programs, the Office on Violence Against Women, and the Community Oriented Policing Services Office. As Associate Attorney General, Tony pursued several financial institutions for their roles in precipitating the 2009 financial crisis, securing nearly $37 billion in fines and restitution for Americans who were harmed.”
There is one glaring elephant in the room that may prevent him from Biden nominating him, though. He is the brother in law of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, which critics might say is a conflict of interest.