Here’s where President Biden’s Cabinet nominees stand


President Joe Biden took office on January 20 without key members of his Cabinet in place after the Senate moved more slowly to schedule confirmation hearings for his nominees than it had for previous presidents.

The chamber, now led by Democrats after six years of Republican control, can now confirm Cabinet nominations without Republican support. Vice President Kamala Harris, who was also sworn in on January 20, can act as a tie-breaking vote in a chamber made up of 50 Republican and 50 Democratic senators.

How long it took each new president to confirm their Cabinet

Track how long it takes the Senate to approve the 15 core positions in Biden’s Cabinet, compared to previous presidents’ first terms. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had their core Cabinets in place relatively quickly, while it took nearly the first 100 days Barack Obama and Donald Trump were in office to finalize theirs.

A photo of Ron Klain from shoulders up.

Chief of Staff

No confirmation needed

Klain is one of Biden’s most trusted advisers, and served as Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president in the Obama administration. Klain brings unique expertise to a moment defined by the coronavirus pandemic — he was appointed by then-President Barack Obama to lead the response to the Ebola crisis in 2014. Klain previously served as chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton administration, and has been the go-to operative for debate preparation for Democratic candidates dating as far back as Bill Clinton.

A photo of Michael Regan from shoulders up.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

No confirmation needed

If confirmed by the Senate, Regan would be the first African American man to lead the EPA. Regan has been serving as the secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality. He led the Environmental Defense Fund’s efforts to combat the impacts of the climate crisis and air pollution, and worked at the EPA during the Clinton and Bush administrations.

A photo of Neera Tanden from shoulders up.

Office of Management & Budget Director

No confirmation needed

Tanden would be the first woman of color and first South Asian American to become director of the Office of Management and Budget if confirmed by the Senate. Tanden is the CEO and president of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, and served in the Obama and Clinton administrations. Tanden is already facing fierce opposition from Senate Republicans.

A photo of Katherine Tai from shoulders up.

US Trade Representative

No confirmation needed

Tai would be the first woman of color to serve as US trade representative if confirmed by the Senate. She currently is the top Democratic trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee. Tai’s nomination will be seen as a clear sign that Biden is serious about his campaign promise to enforce trade rules on China. She is seen as an expert on China trade policy and oversaw trade enforcement for China during the Obama administration.

A photo of Isabel Guzman from shoulders up.

Small Business Administrator

No confirmation needed

Guzman currently serves as the director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, a government office that works to support and grow small businesses in America’s most populous state. Prior to taking over the state office, Guzman was the deputy chief of staff and senior adviser at the Small Business Administration, the office she will now lead. Before her career in public service, Guzman was a small business entrepreneur.

A photo of Avril Haines from shoulders up.

National Intelligence Director

No confirmation needed

Haines will be the first woman to serve as director of national intelligence. She served as assistant to the president and principal deputy national security adviser to Obama. Haines previously served as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

A photo of Linda Thomas-Greenfield from shoulders up.

UN Ambassador

No confirmation needed

Thomas-Greenfield is a career diplomat who would return to public service after retiring from a 35-year career with the US Foreign Service in 2017. Greenfield held several posts in the Obama administration, including assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, director general of the Foreign Service and director of human resources. She has served as an ambassador to Liberia, and has also been posted to Switzerland, Pakistan, Kenya, The Gambia, Nigeria and Jamaica.

A photo of Cecilia Rouse from shoulders up.

Council of Economic Advisers, chair

No confirmation needed

Rouse would be the first woman of color to chair the Council of Economic Advisers if confirmed by the Senate. Rouse previously served as a member of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. She also worked at the National Economic Council in the Clinton administration as a special assistant to the president.

A photo of John Kerry from shoulders up.

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate

No confirmation needed

Kerry’s appointment as Biden’s special presidential envoy for climate underscores Biden’s commitment to tackling the global crisis. Kerry has long worked on climate issues, and as secretary of state during the Obama administration, he played a key role in negotiating the Paris agreement. In 2019, Kerry co-founded a bipartisan initiative of world leaders and celebrities to combat the climate crisis called World War Zero. Kerry will also sit on the National Security Council.

A photo of Eric Lander from shoulders up.

Presidential Science Advisor

No confirmation needed

Lander is Biden’s nominee to direct the Office of Science and Technology Policy and will serve as a presidential science adviser, a position that Biden has elevated to Cabinet-level for the first time. Lander served as external co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology during the Obama administration. He helped lead the Human Genome Project, and is the president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a non-profit biomedical research institute.

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