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In the Biden Administration, a Mighty Female Force Will Be Leading the Country

As we celebrate the inauguration of the first female Vice President, let's also give a Huzzah! for the record number of women who will be serving in this administration.

During the campaign, Joe Biden said many times that his administration would look like America. Since his election, he has nominated five women for the 15 top Cabinet positions, which comes out to one-third. Though this is a record number of women, it certainly doesn’t look like America, where we represent more than half the population. But if you count all of his appointments so far–53 of them–then the percentage is far closer to the goal. To date, 49 percent of these posts are going to women, which shows how deep the bench is with truly accomplished women in an array of fields.

And let’s not forget that Kamala Harris will be at the top of the heap helping Joe Biden govern.

Assuming all will be confirmed by the Senate, we will have a mighty force of women running the country. We are thrilled at that idea, since not surprisingly, most of them are women in our NextTribe age group, and they’ll be excellent role models for us and for those younger than us who will see older women of all stripes reaching the top echelons of their fields.

Here are the women we’ll get to know over the next few years.

Read More: The Ambition Trap: How It Gets Women Like Kamala Harris and Hillary Clinton

The Top Cabinet Positions

Marcia Fudge, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

women in government Marcia Fudge

The former mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, Marcia Fudge has served in the House of Representatives since 2008. She’s a member of several committees, and a past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy

women in government Jennifer Granholm

From 2003 to 2011, Jennifer Granholm served as the governor of Michigan. During the financial crisis, she worked with the state’s auto industry, focusing on clean energy development. Earlier, she served as the state’s attorney general.

Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior

women in government Deb Haaland

Deb Haaland’s nomination was a landmark moment because, if confirmed, she will become the first Native American in a Cabinet role. Since 2019, she has been a member of the House of Representatives, one of the first two Native American women to serve in Congress.

Gina Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce

Gina Raimondo

During her two terms as governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo has focused on workplace training, small business loans, and clean energy.  Earlier in her career, she founded a venture capital firm and was the state’s general treasurer.

Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury

Janet Yellen

Poised to be the first woman to serve as treasury secretary, Janet Yellen is used to being a trailblazer. She was the first female chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, and during the Clinton administration she was chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

Other Top Women in the Administration

Heather Boushey, Member, Council of Economic Advisers

women in government Heather Boushey

A long-time adviser to Biden, Heather Boushey is the CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a non-profit research group. She also worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Deanne Criswell, Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency

Deanne Criswell

Deanne Criswell knows about emergencies. Right now she is the head of New York City’s emergency management department, which has led the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier, she worked at FEMA as a senior officer leading emergency responses and was a firefighter in the Colorado Air National Guard.

Isabel Guzman, Chief of Small Business Administration

women in government Isabel Guzman

Currently a director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, Izabel Guzman has previous Washington experience. She was a senior official at the Small Business Administration during the Obama administration. Earlier in her career, she was an adviser at ProAmérica Bank.

Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence

Avril Haines

In another first, Avril Haines will be the first woman to head national intelligence, if confirmed. She was Obama’s principal deputy national security adviser and deputy director of the CIA. Her ties to Biden go way back, having worked for him when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health

Rachel Levine

As Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine has risen to national prominence for leading the state’s public health response to the coronavirus pandemic. Levine, a pediatrician, will become the first openly transgender federal official to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Brenda Mallory, Chairperson, Council on Environmental Quality

women in government Brenda Mallory

During the Obama administration, Brenda Mallory was general counsel to the Council on Environmental Quality and has held senior legal roles within the Environmental Protection Agency. She now works at the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Lisa Monaco, Deputy Attorney General

Lisa Monaco

Lisa Monaco’s strength is national security. She was President Barack Obama’s top adviser on homeland security and counterterrorism. She spent 15 years at the Justice Department, first as a career federal prosecutor, and eventually becoming the assistant attorney general for national security.

Samantha Power, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development

women in government Samantha Power

Citing her deep experience addressing crises around the world, Biden named Samantha Power to lead USAid, which promotes prosperity and security internationally. Power was Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations and earlier was part of his National Security Council focused on human rights issues. She covered the war in Bosnia for a number of national publications, and won a Pulitzer prize for her reporting on genocide.

Cecilia Rouse, Chairperson, Council of Economic Advisers

Cecelia Rouse

Now a labor economist and the dean of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, Cecelia Rouse served as a member of the CEA during the Obama administration and was part of the National Economic Council during the Clinton administration. If confirmed, Rouse would be the first African American to chair the CEA.

Wendy Sherman, Deputy Secretary of State

wendy sherman

Wendy Sherman served as the under secretary of State for political affairs during the Obama administration and was the lead U.S. negotiator on the nuclear deal with Iran. She also previously had stints as a counselor at the State Department and assistant secretary of State for legislative affairs.

Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative

katherine tai

Katherine Tai is the chief trade counsel for the House Committee on Ways and Means. She was previously a senior member of the Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. trade representative during the Obama administration, responsible for China trade enforcement issues.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Ambassador to the United Nations

Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a career diplomat with more than three decades of experience. She was the assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs and as the U.S. ambassador to Liberia among many other postings. Following her work as a diplomat, Thomas-Greenfield became a senior vice president at Albright Stonebridge Group in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Rochelle Walensky

An expert on virus testing, prevention, and treatment, Dr. Rochelle Walensky is chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In The White House

Jen O’Malley Dillon, Deputy Chief of Staff

women in government Jennifer O'Malley Dillon

After managing Beto O’Rourke’s primary bid, Jen O’Malley Dillon joined up with Biden’s campaign in March 2020. She is a veteran of seven presidential campaigns and a former executive director of the Democratic National Committee.

Gina McCarthy, National Climate Adviser

gina mccarthy

A long-time expert on the environment, Gina McCarthy led the Environmental Protection Agency during President Barack Obama’s second term. She has since been CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Earlier, McCarthy was an environmental regulator in Connecticut.

Jen Psaki, Press Secretary

women in government Jen Psaki

Jen Psaki previously served in the Obama administration as communications director and as the spokesperson for the State Department. Psaki also worked on both of Obama’s presidential campaigns as well as John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Dana Remus, Counsel to the President

Dana Remus

Dana Remus has served as the general counsel to Biden’s presidential campaign and to the Obama Foundation. In the Obama White House, she was deputy counsel for ethics. She previously taught law at the University of North Carolina School of Law and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Susan Rice, Director, Domestic Policy Council

women in government Susan Rice

At one point Susan Rice was considered as Joe Biden’s running mate, but now she will serve in a different capacity. In the Obama administration she was ambassador to the United Nations and later his national security adviser. Rice also had a senior role in the State Department during the Clinton administration.

Julie Chávez Rodriguez, Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

Julia Chavez Rodriguez

Julie Chávez Rodriguez worked as Biden’s deputy campaign manager. Earlier, she was national political director for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ presidential bid. Rodriguez had a senior role on the Obama White House’s public engagement team.

Neera Tanden, Director, Office of Management and Budget

Neera Tanden

Neera Tanden is the CEO of the Center for American Progress, a Democratic-leaning think tank. Tanden was a senior official at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration, and worked specifically on the Affordable Care Act. She was a campaign adviser to Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Louisa Terrell, Director, Office of Legislative Affairs

Louisa Terrell

In the Obama White House, Louisa Terrell worked on legislative affairs. Before that, she served as Biden’s deputy chief of staff while he was a U.S. senator. Terrell has also worked for consultants McKinsey and Co., Yahoo! and Facebook.

By NextTribe Editors


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