New York, Nov 24: The career bureaucrats are roaring back. When US President-elect Joe Biden formally introduces his national security team to the nation on Tuesday, it will signal a stark departure of Donald Trump-era theatrics and the return to power of what the Biden team likes to call “crisis-tested” subject matter experts who are expected to bring a more traditional style to governing.
Ivy League credentials, long years of Washington experience and the unmistakable stamp of the Obama years come as a package deal in the first raft of Biden’s staff picks. Biden, however, will be the first President since Ronald Reagan not to have an Ivy League degree at the undergraduate or graduate level.
The first reveal of Biden’s Cabinet also adds to a growing list of women and people of colour breaking historic barriers even as the President-elect stacks his A team to reflect multicultural America.
“These officials will start working immediately to rebuild our institutions, renew and reimagine American leadership to keep Americans safe at home and abroad, and address the defining challenges of our time — from infectious disease, to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber threats, and climate change,” is how the Biden transition describes the coming shift.
Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken has passed through Harvard, Columbia Law, National Security Council, State Department, Senate Foreign Relations, and the Vice President’s office.
Treasury nominee Janet Yellen studied at Brown and Yale, led the Federal Reserve and was the White House CEA chair.
Department of Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas has checked off multiple boxes: Berkeley, Loyola Marymount Law, US attorney, DHS, CIS, WilmerHale.
Chief of Staff choice Ron Klain has journeyed through Georgetown, Harvard Law, Supreme Court clerkship, House, Senate, Chief of Staff to VP, and Ebola czar in the Obama administration.
Incoming Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines is a career veteran who has served at the CIA, the State Department, and the NSA. Haines studied at University of Chicago and Georgetown Law.
Next National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is a double Yale graduate who went on to win a Rhodes Scholarship before working at the State Department and the White House.
Praise is pouring in. This one’s from Hillary Clinton’s Twitter: “The incoming administration could not have chosen better personnel for the foreign policy and national security teams.”
Susan Rice, former Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Advisor wrote on her social feeds that Antony Blinken “will make a superb Secretary of State and do our nation proud”.
Rice joins a long list of experienced government officials echoing of relief amidst their hope for a return to a less chaotic method. “Competence, decency, strength, and respect for our career professionals are coming back,” she posted.