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.
The Top Cabinet Positions
Marcia Fudge, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
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
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
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
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
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
Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence
Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health
Lisa Monaco, Deputy Attorney General
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.
Cecilia Rouse, Chairperson, Council of Economic Advisers
Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative
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 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
In The White House
Gina McCarthy, National Climate Adviser
Louisa Terrell, Director, Office of Legislative Affairs
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.