Record number of women to serve in Biden Cabinet

A record number of women are slated to serve in President Biden’s Cabinet, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). 

A tally by the political unit, which operates out of Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics, shows that 12 women are slated to serve in Cabinet-level positions in the new administration — the highest number in American history.

Eleven of the 12 women set to serve in the Cabinet, which includes Vice President Harris, are still awaiting confirmation from the Senate.

Of those women, eight are women of color. The CAWP said the previous record for the number of women “serving concurrently in Cabinet-level positions was nine, during the second term of President Bill Clinton.”

Those nominees include Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Jennifer Granholm to lead the Department of Energy; Isabel Guzman to head the Small Business Administration; Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) to lead the Department of the Interior; Avril Haines to serve as Director of National Intelligence (DNI); and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) for Commerce secretary. 

Katherine Tai was also selected by Biden to serve as the U.S. trade representative, along with Neera Tanden to head up the Office of Management and Budget, Linda Thomas-Greenfield to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and Janet Yellen to serve as secretary of the Treasury. 

News from the political group comes as the nominees may face a slightly easier time moving through the Senate confirmation process. Democrats secured control of the upper chamber after the victories of the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the Georgia runoff elections Jan. 5. 

A number of Biden’s picks would also be historic firsts in their own right.

If confirmed, Haaland would be the first Native American to serve in a Cabinet-level role. Haines would the first woman to serve as DNI, and Tai would be the nation’s first Asian American and woman of color to serve as U.S. trade representative.

If all of the nominations are confirmed by the Senate, women would hold roughly 48 percent of “the Cabinet and Cabinet-level positions in the Biden-Harris administration at its outset,” the CAWP said in a release Wednesday.

The news comes several months after Biden and Harris announced in November that the White House would also have an entirely female communications team. The Biden transition team said at the time that it would be the first time the White House communications team would be comprised solely of women.

Biden and Harris touted the staff — which includes Symone Sanders, Karine Jean-Pierre and Kate Bedingfield — as “diverse, experienced, and talented” at the time. 

“Communicating directly and truthfully to the American people is one of the most important duties of a President, and this team will be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of connecting the American people to the White House,” Biden remarked.

Ahead of his and Harris’s swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, the pair also announced the formation of a White House Gender Policy Council, an effort they said will be aimed at advancing the country toward gender equality as their administration works to build the “nation back better.” 

Tags Bill Clinton Deb Haaland Gina Raimondo Janet Yellen Jennifer Granholm Jon Ossoff Karine Jean-Pierre Kate Bedingfield Katherine Tai Linda Thomas-Greenfield Marcia Fudge Neera Tanden Raphael Warnock Symone Sanders

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