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Biden names his cabinet; John Kerry named climate envoy

Washington: President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced some key members of his cabinet.

Mr Biden named John Kerry as climate envoy. Mr Kerry is a former Secretary of State under the Obama administration’s second term and a former presidential candidate. He had signed the Paris climate agreement on behalf of the US in 2016 which committed countries to working to limit the global temperature rise. Under Mr Trump, the US withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, which Mr Biden has promised to rejoin. He was a senator for 28 years and chairman of the foreign relations committee.

Other key picks included long-time Biden aide Antony Blinken as secretary of state, while reports say former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will be the choice for treasury secretary. The first woman to hold that position.

The 58-year-old Blinken was deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration, in which Mr Biden served as vice-president.

Avril Haines was nominated as the first female director of national intelligence. Ms Haines is a former deputy director of the CIA and deputy national security adviser.

Alejandro Mayorkas is the first person of Latino origin nominated as secretary of homeland security. He previously served as deputy secretary of homeland security under President Obama.

Jake Sullivan was named White House national security adviser. Mr Sullivan served as Mr Biden’s national security adviser during Mr Obama’s second term.

Long-time diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield was nominated US ambassador to the UN. She also served under President Obama, including as assistant secretary of state for African affairs between 2013 and 2017.

Making the announcement on Monday, Mr Biden said, “I need a team ready on day one to help me reclaim America’s seat at the head of the table, rally the world to meet the biggest challenges we face, and advance our security, prosperity, and values. This is the crux of that team.”

In his choice of a national security team, Joe Biden signalled that the US is resuming its conventional international role, after four turbulent years of Donald Trump’s America First.

Some of Mr Biden’s nominations will have to get Senate approval, which is controlled by the Republicans.

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