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Joe Biden administration: Ron Klain named Chief of Staff, here are others in fray for top roles

US President-elect Joe Biden named long-time advisor Ron Klain as his Chief of Staff on November 11, taking the first step in formation of his administration. Here's a look at who's in fray for other top positions.
Nov 12, 2020 / 11:01 AM IST
File image: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
File image: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Naming long-time advisor Ron Klain as his Chief of Staff on November 11 was the first step for United States President-elect Joe Biden to form his administration.

Klain will lead the White House likely to be consumed by the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In the coming days, Biden is expected to announce names of individuals who will serve in top roles at the White House once he formally takes charge.

However, Biden's Cabinet nominees will have to be confirmed by the US Senate which is currently controlled by the Republicans. Two runoff elections in the state of Georgia in early January will decide which party has control of the Upper House for the times to come.

Key positions up for grabs

The US Cabinet includes the vice president – who will be Kamala Harris -- and 15 people heading as many executive departments. These are: Homeland Security, Commerce, Defence, Interior, Justice, Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, Energy, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, Labour, State, Transportation and Veterans Affairs.

There are other positions, including the Chief of Staff, which have Cabinet-level ranks. The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Management & Budget director, US Trade Representative ambassador, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and administrator of the Small Business Administration are among the others.

People in fray

According to a report by CNN, co-chair of Biden's transition team and presidential campaign Cedric Richmond is being considered for several positions.

Susan Rice, who served as the country’s United Nations ambassador and National Security Adviser, is being considered to become the next Secretary of State. Antony Blinken and Senator Chris Coons are among the others in fray for the position.

Lael Brainard, the Under Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury and Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury during the Obama administration, is being seen as the frontrunner to become the Secretary of the Treasury. Sarah Bloom Raskin, the former deputy secretary of the Treasury Department, is among others in contention.

Michèle Flournoy is being considered to become the country’s first female Secretary of Defence, according to news reports.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the deputy secretary of Homeland Security during the Obama administration, is a leading contender to become the Secretary of Homeland Security. Lisa Monaco, who was part of Biden's VP selection committee, is also a contender.

Vivek Murthy, the former US surgeon general, has been given a key position in Biden’s COVID-19 task force. Murthy, a person of Indian-origin, is also in contention to become the next Health and Human Services Secretary.

Even as Biden is pushing ahead with his transition plans, US President Donald Trump’s legal challenges to the election result are likely to make it a drawn-out process.

Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of developments following the 2020 US presidential elections here
Moneycontrol News
first published: Nov 12, 2020 11:01 am

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