President-elect Joe Biden’s early cabinet picks signal that he prizes expertise and experience in the people who will comprise his inner circle of advisers, even if they may disagree with him from time to time, according to Northeastern professors.
Tony Blinken, nominated to run the State Department, is a trusted, longtime aide who has known Biden for decades. He previously served as the number two in the department during the Obama administration. As the United States’ chief diplomat, he will have Biden’s ear on all matters pertaining to foreign policy.
Rounding out the upper levels of his foreign policy team, Biden tapped another close aide, Jake Sullivan, as national security adviser at the White House. He was the head of policy planning in the State Department under Hillary Clinton, making him one of her closest advisers.
Filling the job of United Nations ambassador is former diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who served as U.S. envoy to Liberia and had overseas postings in Switzerland, Kenya, Pakistan, and other countries.
Policy-wise, choosing Blinken sends a message to the international community that the Biden administration is placing a high premium on multilateralism in terms of diplomacy and the military, says Julie Garey, an assistant teaching professor of political science who specializes in international relations and U.S. foreign policy.