Alejandro Mayorkas will be the first Latino to run the Homeland Security Department and Avril Haines will be the first woman to serve as Director of National Intelligence, while former Secretary of State John Kerry has been tapped as climate czar and a member of the National Security Council, President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team announced Monday.
Mayorkas and Haines mark the first cabinet announcements from the incoming commander-in-chief, and will require Senate approval in order to serve in the posts.
Mayorkas served as deputy Homeland Security secretary from 2013 to 2016. He would also be the first immigrant to serve in the role. During his tenure under the Obama-era DHS, he led the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Haines, meanwhile, has worked under Biden for over a decade. She served under President Barack Obama as a principal deputy national security adviser from 2015 to 2017.
She also worked under Biden during his time as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman from 2007 to 2008.
If confirmed, she would become the highest-ranking woman to serve in the intelligence community, replacing CIA Director Gina Haspel as the most senior female.
Biden has also tapped former Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, as his climate czar.
Kerry’s official title will be special presidential envoy for climate, and he will sit on the National Security Council as part of his duties. The move will mark the first time that the NSC has included an official dedicated exclusively to climate change.