President-elect Biden’s Cabinet is beginning to take more shape. Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is expected to be nominated as treasury secretary. She would become the first woman to hold the post, as will Avril Haines, Biden’s pick to be director of national intelligence. Haines is a former deputy director of the CIA who played a key role in Obama’s drone wars. Haines has also been criticized for her role absolving the CIA officers who hacked into Senate Intelligence Committee computers in an attempt to thwart and undermine the Senate’s torture probe.
Biden has named Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban immigrant, to head the Department of Homeland Security. He will become the first Latino and first immigrant to hold the post. While working in the Obama administration, Mayorkas helped develop and implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Biden has also named former Secretary of State John Kerry to be his special envoy on climate — a newly formed position. Kerry, who helped negotiate the Paris climate accord, will sit on the National Security Council.
Meanwhile, Biden is facing pressure from progressives not to select former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to a Cabinet post. On Monday, New York Democratic Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Rahm Emanuel helped cover up the murder of Laquan McDonald. Covering up a murder is disqualifying for public leadership. … It is shameful and concerning that he is even being considered.”