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Biden to Announce Nat'l Security Team  11/24 06:20

   President-elect Joe Biden is set to formally introduce his national security 
team to the nation, building out a team of Obama administration alumni that 
signals his shift away from the Trump administration's "America First" policies 
and a return to U.S. engagement on the global stage.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- President-elect Joe Biden is set to formally introduce 
his national security team to the nation, building out a team of Obama 
administration alumni that signals his shift away from the Trump 
administration's "America First" policies and a return to U.S. engagement on 
the global stage.

   The picks for national security and foreign-policy posts include former 
Secretary of State John Kerry to take the lead on combating climate change. 
Kerry and several other people set to join the upcoming administration will be 
discussed by Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris during a Tuesday 
afternoon event.

   Outside the realm of national security and foreign policy, Biden is expected 
to choose Janet Yellen as the first woman to become treasury secretary. She was 
nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Reserve, the first 
woman in that position, and served from 2014 to 2018.

   Biden's emerging Cabinet marks a return to a more traditional approach to 
governing, relying on veteran policymakers with deep expertise and strong 
relationships in Washington and global capitals. And with a roster that 
includes multiple women and people of color --- some of whom are breaking 
historic barriers in their posts --- Biden is fulfilling his campaign promise 
to lead a team that reflects the diversity of America.

   The incoming president will nominate longtime adviser Antony Blinken to be 
secretary of state; lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security 
secretary; Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; 
and Jake Sullivan as national security adviser. Avril Haines, a former deputy 
director of the CIA, will be nominated as director of national intelligence, 
the first woman to hold that post.

   Thomas-Greenfield is Black, and Mayorkas is Cuban American.

   Those being introduced on Tuesday "are experienced, crisis-tested leaders 
who are ready to hit the ground running on day one," the transition said in a 
statement. "These officials will start working immediately to rebuild our 
institutions, renew and reimagine American leadership to keep Americans safe at 
home and abroad, and address the defining challenges of our time --- from 
infectious disease, to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber threats, and 
climate change."

   In the weeks ahead, Biden could also name Michle Flournoy as the first 
woman to lead the Defense Department. Pete Buttigieg, the former Indiana mayor 
and onetime presidential candidate, has also been mentioned as a contender for 
a Cabinet agency.

   In making the choices public on Monday, Biden moved forward with plans to 
fill out his administration even as President Donald Trump refused to concede 
defeat in the Nov. 3 election, has pursued baseless legal challenges in several 
key states and worked to stymie the transition process.

   Trump said later Monday that he was directing his team to cooperate on the 
transition but vowed to keep up the fight. His comment came after the General 
Services Administration ascertained that Biden was the apparent winner of the 
election, clearing the way for the start of the transition from Trump's 
administration and allowing Biden to coordinate with federal agencies on plans 
for taking over on Jan. 20.

   Biden's nominations were generally met with silence on Capitol Hill, where 
the Senate's balance of power hinges on two runoff races that will be decided 
in January.

   The best known of the bunch is Kerry, who made climate change one of his top 
priorities while serving as Obama's secretary of state, during which he also 
negotiated the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord. Trump withdrew 
from both agreements, which he said represented a failure of American diplomacy 
in a direct shot at Kerry, whom he called the worst secretary of state in U.S. 
history.

   "America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the 
urgent national security threat it is," Kerry said. "I'm proud to partner with 
the president-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement 
to take on this crisis as the president's climate envoy."

   Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national 
security adviser during the Obama administration. He recently participated in a 
national security briefing with Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris 
and weighed in publicly just last week on notable foreign policy issues in 
Egypt and Ethiopia.

   Blinken served on the National Security Council during the Clinton 
administration before becoming staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations 
Committee when Biden was chair of the panel. In the early years of the Obama 
administration, Blinken returned to the NSC and was Biden's national security 
adviser when Biden was vice president, then moved to the State Department to 
serve as deputy to Kerry.

 
 
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