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Notable and Historic Women Leaders Tapped to Join the Biden-Harris Administration
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris announced a number of picks for important roles in their Administration this week, and many of the appointees are trailblazers who will be the first women to hold their posts. Here are just some of the notable women who will join Biden and Harris in leading the nation starting next month:
Janet Yellen: Treasury Secretary
Janet Yellen, an economist and professor, will be the first woman ever to lead the Treasury Department. Yellen was also the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve (2014 – 2018), and only the second woman to chair the Council of Economic Advisors (1997 – 1999). If the Senate confirms her new post at Treasury, Yellen will have held leading roles at the top three economic positions in our government.
Neera Tanden: Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Neera Tanden is chief executive of the Center for American Progress, a lawyer, and a former campaign staffer for a number of Democratic presidential campaigns. If confirmed by the Senate, Tanden—a daughter of immigrants from India—would be the first woman of color to lead the OMB.
Avril Haines: Director of National Intelligence
Lawyer and former White House Deputy National Security Advisor with the Obama Administration, Avril Haines was also the first woman to serve as the CIA’s Deputy Director when she was appointed to that role in 2013. As the Biden-Harris administration’s Director of National Intelligence (pending Senate confirmation), Haines will be the first woman to hold the role.
Cecilia Rouse: Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors
Cecilia Rouse is a labor economist and dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. If confirmed by the Senate, Rouse will be the first woman of color and just the fourth woman to chair the CEA.
Heather Boushey: Member of the Council of Economic Advisors
Economist, President and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and longtime advisor to Biden Heather Boushey was named as a member of the CEA under Rouse, along with Jared Bernstein. Boushey is a leading economic voice on paid leave, child care, and addressing inequality.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield: Ambassador to the United Nations
Diplomat and former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (2013 – 2017) Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be the second woman to hold the Ambassador post, following Susan Rice who served as from 2009 to 2013. Thomas-Greenfield has 35 years of experience in foreign service, and she is also a Senior Vice President at Albright Stonebridge Group, a business strategy firm based in DC. Her appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
Kate Bedingfield, Jen Psaki, Karine Jean-Pierre, Pili Tobar, Ashley Etienne, Symone Sanders, Elizabeth Alexander: The All-Women Communications Team
For the first time in history, all top positions in the new administration’s Communications team will be held by women. Leading the team will be longtime Biden aide and campaign Communications Director Kate Bedingfield, who will continue to in that role for President Biden; Jen Psaki, who will take the podium as Press Secretary; Ashley Etienne, who will be Harris’s Communications Director; and Elizabeth Alexander, who will hold the same role for First Lady Jill Biden. Symone Sanders will be Harris’s chief spokeswoman, Pili Tobar will be deputy White House Communications Director, and Karine Jean-Pierre will be Principal Deputy Press Secretary.
This week’s appointments join other prominent women to be named to the Biden-Harris team, such as Jen O’Malley Dillon (Deputy Chief of Staff), Tina Flournoy (Harris’s Chief of Staff), Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon (Jill Biden’s Chief of Staff), Julie Rodriguez (Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs), Annie Tomasini (Director of Oval Office Operations), and Dana Remus (White House Counsel), among others. O’Malley Dillon was Biden’s Campaign Manager, and she made history as the first woman to lead a winning Democratic presidential race.
Following a historic election that is ushering in the first woman and first woman of color Vice President, and a record number of women to Congress, it’s fitting that the new Executive team will reflect greater gender parity than ever before. As Barbara Lee Family Foundation Research and Communications Director Amanda Hunter told NBC10 Boston’s Alison King about the Biden-Harris Communications team, “Young girls around the world are going to see women at the podium in the White House and that’s powerful.”