Notable and Historic Women Leaders Tapped to Join the Biden-Harris Administration: Part 2

Last week we covered a number of recently appointed notable women who will serve as leaders in the Biden-Harris administration. With 41 days until the Inauguration, the administration continued to fill important roles this week, and we’re continuing to see noteworthy and trailblazing women among the appointees:

Marcia Fudge: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

President-elect Biden selected Ohio Representative Marcia L. Fudge to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Fudge has served in the House since winning a special election in 2008—she has been a member of the Agriculture, Education and Labor, and House Administration committees, and she previously chaired the Congressional Black Caucus.

Prior to serving her Ohio district in Congress, Fudge was Mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, where she was the first woman and first Black American to hold the office. Her appointment to HUD Secretary is subject to Senate confirmation.

Rohini Kosoglu and Nancy McEldowney: Additions to Kamala Harris’s Senior Staff

In addition to appointing Hartina Flournoy, current Chief of Staff to former President Bill Clinton, as her Chief of Staff, Vice President-elect Harris recently tapped Rohini Kosoglu and Nancy McEldowney for her senior team. Flournoy, Kosoglu, and McEldowney are making history as the first all-women team to fill the top three positions in a Vice President’s office.

Kosoglu, who is Sri Lankan-American, will be Harris’s Domestic Policy Advisor; she has previously worked with Harris in her Senate office (where she was the first South Asian American woman to serve as Chief of Staff in the US Senate). Kosoglu is currently a senior advisor on the administration’s transition team.

Former US ambassador to Bulgaria with the George W. Bush administration and 30-year veteran of foreign service McEldowney will be the Vice President-elect’s National Security Advisor.

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, and Natalie Quillian: Key Health Team Members

The Biden-Harris administration is creating a new role—COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair—which will be filled by Dr. Marcelle Nunez-Smith, a Yale School of Medicine professor and founding director of the Yale Equity Research and Innovation Center. According to the Biden-Harris announcement, “Dr. Nunez-Smith will advise the President-elect on a whole-of-government effort to reduce COVID-19 disparities in response, care, and treatment, including racial and ethnic disparities.”

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, will be Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Walensky has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic response in Massachusetts as a leading expert on virus testing, prevention, and treatment.

Natalie Quillian, a former Obama administration official who worked to coordinate the opioid epidemic response, will serve as Deputy Coordinator of the COVID-19 Response on the Biden-Harris team. Quillian was recently the Deputy Campaign Manager for Biden for President.

In a recent Tweet, Kamala Harris wrote, “The Biden-Harris administration will reflect America’s diversity.” We know that having people with a variety of lived experiences at the table in the incoming administration will positively influence policy decisions—so we’ll be continuing to watch how Biden and Harris assemble their team.

You can read Part 1 of this story here.

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