Meet Joe Biden’s Historically Diverse Cabinet

Meet+Joe+Biden%27s+Historically+Diverse+Cabinet

Arielle Biran, Staff Writer

America breathed a deep sigh of relief at Trump’s concession, reassured by the fact that he did not have to be dragged out of the White House kicking and screaming. Now, the future of our nation lies in the hands of President Joe Biden and those chosen to work alongside him. 

Throughout his campaign, Biden pledged that his cabinet will be “the most diverse in history,” and it seems that this promise will be fulfilled. His nominations consist of an unprecedented number of women and BIPOC in roles which they have never filled before. Biden’s chosen candidates give hope to all of the children across America who have never seen themselves represented in a government role before. 

This also sends a message to all those who abhor a cabinet with a lack of white men; the oppressive gender norms and racial stereotypes of the past are dying. The women and BIPOC of Biden’s cabinet have done more than surpass the prejudiced ideas that hold them back, they have transcended them.

Since Alexander Hamilton, there have been 77 Treasury Secretaries in the history of the United States. None of them have been women. Breaking this stigma is Janet Yellen, a 74-year old frondeur who has broken gender stereotypes her whole life, becoming the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve, and now the first woman to serve as Treasury Secretary. This feat will also land her the accomplishment of being the first person ever to hold three key economic positions in the U.S. government.

In nominating his Secretary of Defense, Biden has chosen retired general, Lloyd Austin, who will be the first Black person to serve in this position. Austin is no stranger to historical firsts, as he was the first black general to command an Army division in combat, and the first to oversee an entire theater of operations. He has impeccable credentials and will be another great addition to the Biden-Harris cabinet.

Alejandro Mayrokas is set to become the first-ever immigrant to lead the Department of Homeland Security, and he is a much-needed representation at a time where our last administration villainized immigrants.

Under the Obama administration, Mayorkas served as the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, where he played an instrumental role in the implementation of DACA, a program that shields undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Biden’s choice for the secretary of Health and Human Services is Xavier Berecca, a man whose campaigns for the Affordable Care Act have reached as far as the Supreme Court, and who is set to become the first Latino in this position.

This position is especially important today, considering America’s poor management of the coronavirus, and it is comforting to know that we will have a man who is truly dedicated to the health of the American people filling this position.

By far the most controversial nomination, Neera Tanden will become the first woman of color and the first South Asian person to lead the Office of Management and Budget. As a first-generation American, Tanden is the CEO of the left-leaning organization, Center for American Progress, and served in the Clinton and Obama administrations, where she helped in crafting the Affordable Care Act.

Tanden is an outspoken woman of color who is unafraid to speak her mind, earning her an abundance of criticism from the Republican lawmakers she speaks against.

The Department of the Interior is the agency that is responsible for managing our nation’s public lands as well as honoring its treaties with the Indigenous people from whom these lands were taken, but there has never been a Native American leader of this department. Deb Halaand, Joe Biden’s nomination for the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, will change that. This historic feat is nothing out of the ordinary for Halaand, who became the first Native American woman in Congress in 2018.

This abundance of representation is the light at the end of the very dark tunnel we’ve been stumbling around in for the last year. Though we still have a ways to go, having women and BIPOC in leadership positions where they can rule on issues pertaining to women and BIPOC is a step in the right direction, and we will only continue to progress.