Kylie McGovern, Editor
Soon after being sworn into office, President Joe Biden began appointing his cabinet members and various other positions. Some of these appointments may need to be approved by the Senate, while others have been approved or do not require approval. La Salle Alum William Burns has been appointed to be the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Burns is president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He had a 33-year career in the foreign service, including serving as ambassador to Russia and earlier to Jordan. “Bill Burns is an exemplary diplomat with decades of experience on the world stage keeping our people and our country safe and secure,” Biden said. Burns was a member of La Salle’s Honors Program and studied history, which he says “gives you perspective.” Antony Blinken was approved to serve as Biden’s secretary of state. The two worked together closely during Biden’s vice-presidency as Biden worked on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee while Blinken served as deputy national security adviser. In addition, Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin has been appointed and approved to be the secretary of defense. Austin is a retired U.S. Army four-star general who served in the military for 41 years. He is the first African American to fill this position. Biden’s administration continues to have “firsts” in the appointment of Rachel Lavine as assistant health secretary. If confirmed by the Senate, Levine, a pediatrician by trade, would become the first openly transgender federal officer in the United States. According to Biden, “She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration’s health efforts.” Janet Yellen seeks Senate approval to be secretary of the treasury. Yellen was the first female to run the Federal Reserve, and, if confirmed, would be the first woman to run the Treasury Department. Ron Klain will serve as Biden’s chief of staff. Klain was a longtime aide to Biden during the Obama administration and oversaw the White House response to the Ebola epidemic in 2014. Pete Buttigieg, who endorsed Biden after dropping out of the presidential race, will serve as secretary of transportation. Buttigieg makes a jump from local politics in South Bend, IN to national-level politics with his appointment to this position. Jen Psaki will serve as press secretary. In the past, she served under the Obama administration as communications director and as the spokesperson for the State Department. There are various other positions that Joe Biden has appointed to fill his staff and some of these appointments make history.