Washington, Dec 11 (IANS) US President-elect Joe Biden has announced more members he has picked for his administration.
In a statement on Thursday, Biden said Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa who served as Secretary of Agriculture for all the eight years during former President Barack Obama’s administration, has been nominated to the job again.
Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge has been tapped to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, while former White House chief of staff Denis McDonough is picked to serve as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Meanwhile, the President-elect said that he was choosing Katherine Tai, a veteran international trade expert, for the role of the US Trade Representative, while appointing former National Security Advisor Susan Rice to be Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
“This dedicated and distinguished group of public servants will bring the highest level of experience, compassion, and integrity to bear, solving problems and expanding possibilities for the American people in the face of steep challenges,” Biden was quoted as saying in the statement.
“The roles they will take on are where the rubber meets the road — where competent and crisis-tested governance can make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, enhancing the dignity, equity, security, and prosperity of the day-to-day lives of Americans,” he added.
These nominations were reported earlier this week, but they were only confirmed in Thursday’s statement.
On Wednesday, Biden introduced retired four-star Army general Lloyd J. Austin as his nominee for Defence Secretary.
In his announcement, the President-elect described the battle-hardened retired general as a man “feared by our adversaries”, but who will “ensure that the use of force is our tool of last resort”.
If confirmed by the Senate, Austin will be the second African-American to head a department with an international focus. The first was Colin Powell, who was former President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State.
Meanwhile n Monday, the President-elect said he was nominating Xavier Becerra, Attorney General of California, as the Secretary of Health and Human Hervices.
If confirmed, Becerra, a former US Congressman from California, will be the first Latino to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, which will oversee the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in the coming months.
Indian-American Vivek Murthy has been tapped to serve as US Surgeon General, a post the research scientist held between 2014 and 2017, and Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, will lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The President-elect also said he has appointed Marcella Nunez-Smith, an expert on health care disparities, to serve as the Covid-19 equity task force chair, while naming Jeff Zients, former director of the National Economic Council, coordinator of the Covid-19 response and a presidential counsellor.
Anthony Fauci, America’s top expert on infectious diseases and an adviser to six US Presidents, will serve as chief medical adviser on Covid-19 to Biden and continue in his role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.