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Who Are Contenders for Biden’s Cabinet?


President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has signaled his intention to draw from a diverse cross section of America in building his cabinet. Unlike President Trump’s cabinet, which is more white and male than any in nearly 40 years, Mr. Biden’s list of likely top advisers promises to reflect 21st-century sensibilities.

“Across the board — from our classrooms to our courtrooms to the president’s cabinet — we have to make sure that our leadership and our institutions actually look like America,” Mr. Biden wrote in an op-ed article last summer.

In naming the group, Mr. Biden must appease progressives within his own party while gaining support from Republicans who may still control the Senate. Mr. Biden is likely to include Republicans in his cabinet as he attempts to engineer a working relationship between the parties.

Mr. Biden’s transition team, led by former Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware, a longtime confidant, already has been working on a list of candidates.

These are names that have emerged as possible picks for posts.

HEIDI HEITKAMP: A former North Dakota senator who served on the Agriculture Committee, Ms. Heitkamp is a strong advocate for rural issues. She has criticized the Trump administration’s trade policies, which led to tariffs on soybean exports to China.

AMY KLOBUCHAR: A Minnesota senator, former prosecutor in Minneapolis and candidate for the Democratic nomination, Ms. Klobuchar, who was at one point in contention for Mr. Biden’s running mate, has advocated increasing support for agricultural commodities, disaster programs and federal crop insurance. (Ms. Klobuchar has also been mentioned as a possible attorney general.)

TOM DONILON: Mr. Donilon, who served as national security adviser under President Barack Obama, has been tied to Mr. Biden since 1987, when he worked on his first presidential campaign. A lawyer, he also oversaw the transition planning for the Clinton-Kaine campaign in 2016.

AVRIL HAINES: A former deputy C.I.A. director and former deputy national security adviser, Ms. Haines has held several posts at Columbia University since leaving the Obama administration. (Ms. Haines has also been mentioned as a candidate for director of national intelligence.)

MIKE MORELL: Mr. Morell is a former analyst at the C.I.A. who served as the agency’s deputy director and twice as its acting director. He is now in private business, chairing the geopolitical risk practice at Beacon Global Strategies, a consulting firm in Washington.

TAMMY DUCKWORTH: A former Army lieutenant colonel who lost both legs when her helicopter came under fire in Iraq in 2004, Ms. Duckworth, a senator from Illinois, was an assistant secretary of veterans affairs during the Obama administration. She was among women considered as Mr. Biden’s running mate. If appointed, she would become the first Thai-American cabinet member in addition to the first woman in the role of defense secretary. (Ms. Duckworth has also been mentioned as a potential secretary of veterans affairs.)

MICHÈLE A. FLOURNOY Ms. Flournoy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, is regarded as the leading choice for this job. Ms. Flournoy, who would be the first woman in this role, has advised Mr. Biden’s campaign on defense issues and is regarded as highly qualified. Her industry ties — she serves on the board of the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton — could annoy progressives.

JEH JOHNSON: Mr. Johnson is a former secretary of homeland security who previously served as general counsel at the Pentagon. He would be the first Black secretary of defense. His membership on the board of the defense contractor Lockheed Martin could be a sticking point for progressives. (Mr. Johnson has…



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