Joe Biden names picks for secretary of State, Homeland Security chief, director of national intelligence

(L-R) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry listen as President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki address reporters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, November 1, 2013.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden announced his intended nominees for top national security positions Monday, assembling a team of experienced institutionalists to fill his incoming Cabinet.

In addition to his previously reported plan to nominate Antony Blinken to be his secretary of State and Jake Sullivan to be national security advisor, Biden also announced he will nominate Alejandro Mayorkas to lead the Department of Homeland Security and Avril Haines to be the director of national intelligence.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a career officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, will be nominated to serve as the United Nations Ambassador, a post which will be elevated to Cabinet-level in the Biden administration.

Biden also announced he will name former secretary of State John Kerry as special presidential envoy for climate and place the post within the National Security Council, the first time a high level envoy for climate has been formally part of the NSC.

“America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is,” Kerry tweeted following the announcement. “I’m proud to partner with the President-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the President’s Climate Envoy.”

From a Biden transition team statement:

• Antony Blinken, a former Deputy Secretary of State, will be nominated to serve as  Secretary of State having previously held top foreign affairs posts on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and in the State Department.
• Alejandro Mayorkas, a former Deputy Secretary of DHS, who has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate three times throughout his career, will be the first Latino and immigrant nominated to serve as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
• Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service who has served on four continents, will be nominated to serve as United Nations Ambassador and elevated the role to his Cabinet.
• Former Secretary of State John Kerry will fight climate change full-time as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and will sit on the National Security Council. This marks the first time that the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change, reflecting the president-elect’s commitment to addressing climate change as an urgent national security issue.
• Avril Haines, a former Deputy Director of the CIA and Deputy National Security Advisor, will be nominated to serve as Director of National Intelligence and will be the first woman to lead the intelligence community.
• Jake Sullivan has been appointed National Security Advisor and will be one of the youngest people to serve in that role in decades.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

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