Making History: A Look At Biden’s Cabinet Picks

Biden’s cabinet picks could potentially introduce unprecedented diversity to the White House, but some still wonder if it is enough


     As promised in his campaign, President-elect Joe Biden is beginning to assemble one of the most diverse cabinets in U.S. history. As he prepares to take office in January, Biden is beginning to create a list of nominees for his Cabinet that will “look like this country,” in an attempt to unify America. 

     Beginning with the appointment of Kamala Harris as his vice president in early August, Biden began building his administration with diversity in mind. For the first time in history, there is a Black and Indian woman as vice president, and Biden’s term had barely even begun. 

      In the last few months, Biden has been rolling out recommendations with hopes that his nominees will gain confirmation from the Senate. However, there is a run-off election for the two seats in Georgia, which will determine if Republicans or Democrats win control of the Senate. Georgia’s election, which will take place two weeks before Biden’s inauguration, will determine a lot for Biden’s presidency. Without Democrats taking Georgia, Biden will have a hard time pushing his agenda, which includes getting his nominations confirmed.

     For the time being, however, Biden continues to announce selections for his administration. Lloyd Austin is Biden’s nomination for the Secretary of Defense and would be the first Black person as the director of the Pentagon. For the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Biden named Xavier Becerra, who would be the first Latino to lead this department. Biden nominated Avril Haines as the Director of National Intelligence. Haines would be the first woman to ever be in this position. Alejandro Mayorkas, who is to be the Secretary of Homeland Security, would be the first Latino and immigrant in this posting. The appointee for the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, Cecilia Rouse, would be the first woman of color in this position. Katherine Tai would be the first woman of color to be a U.S. Trade Representative., and Janet Yellen, who was nominated to be the Treasury Secretary, would be the first ever woman to undertake this role. 

     Evidently, there are many groups of people represented by Biden’s nominations for his Cabinet. 

    When asked what she thought about Biden’s Cabinet nominations thus far, Junior Carly Pyles said, “I think it’s great that we can already see Biden following through with his pledge to nominate a Cabinet ‘that looks like America.’ Hopefully, he maintains the same perspective as he fills the remaining positions. There is still a lot he can do to increase minority representatives in his Cabinet with his last several picks. Minority voters had a large role in helping Biden secure both the Democratic nomination and the presidency, and they deserve to be represented to the fullest possible extent.”

     However, many are still pushing for increased diversity that will provide more than just representation.

      Senior Abby Myer says, “Diversity in government is the first step to ensuring that the voices of Americans who have historically been marginalized are adequately heard and protected, and that policies take into account that diversity. However, citizens should be conscious of the fact that a cabinet that is diverse on face is not an inherent indication that cabinet members will be advocates for the groups they are a part of, or that having a more diverse cabinet necessarily means a more progressive cabinet.”

      Senior Danielle Fischer seems to echo the overriding sentiment about Biden’s Cabinet picks saying, “It’s definitely progress from what we had before, he tried to actually make his cabinet look kind of like the country, but I think we need to see more where he takes us in the future to decide if it is enough.”