Following the historic announcement of Gen. Lloyd Austin on Tuesday, President-elect Joe Biden rolled out more of his administration on Thursday: Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture; Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative; and Ambassador Susan Rice, Director of the Domestic Policy Council.
President-elect Joe Biden said of his picks: “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. 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. “
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris added, “The administration members we are announcing today will help us meet a range of other challenges—from helping make sure no American goes hungry to putting affordable housing within reach for all to caring for veterans and their families and advancing our ideals of opportunity and equality. “
Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, nominated to serve as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, is described as a leading voice for working families. She has represented Ohio’s 11th Congressional District for the last 12 years.
A former mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio, and past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congresswoman Fudge is a longtime champion of affordable housing, urban revitalization, infrastructure investment, and other reforms to enhance the safety, prosperity, and sustainability of American communities. If confirmed, she will be the first woman to lead HUD in more than 40 years and the second Black woman in history to lead the department.
Ambassador Susan Rice will serve as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. With years of experience working at senior levels in the executive branch, she knows government inside and out and will carry through the president-elect’s vision of a newly empowered Domestic Policy Council and turbocharge the effort to build back better.
Rice is touted as one of the nation’s most senior and experienced government leaders with the skills to harness the power of the federal government to serve the American people. As a former member of the Cabinet, she also understands the challenges and opportunities of running an agency and has extensive experience working with other key members of the Biden-Harris White House team, including the heads of NSC and NEC.
The following White House announcements were made Thursday:
- Secretary Tom Vilsack, a two-term Governor of Iowa and the Secretary of Agriculture for all eight years of the Obama-Biden administration, is ready to get to work on day one. With an estimated one-in-six Americans and a quarter of U.S. children facing a hunger crisis, farmers reeling, and rural communities struggling to weather the pain and economic fallout of the pandemic, Vilsack will bring the experience and bold thinking needed to deliver immediate relief to farmers, ranchers, producers and families all across the country. Vilsack is committed to ensuring the USDA promotes true equity and inclusion in every mission it has.
- Denis McDonough, a lifelong public servant who has been engaged at the highest level in shaping domestic and foreign policy, is nominated to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Through his service as White House Chief of Staff, Deputy National Security Advisor, and Chief of Staff of the National Security Council, McDonough helped lead the Obama-Biden administration’s work on behalf of military families and veterans and earned the trust of the President-elect as a first-class manager with the knowledge and vision to deliver results.
- Katherine Tai, a dedicated, deeply respected public servant, and veteran international trade expert who has spent her career working to level the playing field for American workers and families, is nominated to serve as United States Trade Representative. If confirmed, she would be the first Asian American and first woman of color to serve in this position. Tai serves as the chief lawyer on trade for the House Ways and Means Committee and previously served in the Office of the United States Trade Representative as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement.
—Information provided by the Biden-Harris administration.