January 8, 2021: Joe Biden named Gina Raimondo, Marty Walsh, and Isabel Guzman to key economic positions in his Cabinet.
Prior to taking office on January 20, 2021, President-elect Joe Biden (D) and his team must prepare for the transition between presidential administrations, including selecting senior White House staff and appointees to top government positions.
In 2020, there were 1,472 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,118 positions required Senate confirmation and 354 did not. The new administration is also responsible for filling thousands of other positions across the federal government, including in operations and policy. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden presidential transition.
Appointments and Nominations
Biden announced three economic Cabinet and Cabinet-rank nominees on Thursday in a press release.
Gina Raimondo, secretary of commerce
Gina Raimondo has served as the governor of Rhode Island since 2015. She was chair of the Democratic Governors Association from 2018 to 2019. She also served as the treasurer of Rhode Island from 2011 to 2015. Prior to her public service, Raimondo co-founded the first capital venture firm in Rhode Island history, according to the Biden campaign.
In Rhode Island, a vacancy in the office of the governor is filled by the lieutenant governor. Daniel McKee (D) holds that position.
Marty Walsh, secretary of labor
Marty Walsh has served as the mayor of Boston since 2014. He was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, chair of the Massachusetts Democratic Party Labor Caucus, and the co-chair of the Special Commission on Public Construction Reform. Walsh also worked as a union leader, serving as the head of the Laborers’ Union Local 223 and the Building and the Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council.
Isabel Guzman, small business administrator
Isabel Guzman is the director of the Office of the Small Business Advocate within the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. She worked in the Obama administration as a deputy chief of staff and senior advisor in the Small Business Administration. Guzman also worked as an advisor at ProAmérica Bank.
- The Senate Armed Services Committee scheduled a confirmation hearing for Secretary of Defense nominee Lloyd Austin on January 19. This is the only confirmation hearing scheduled so far by a Senate committee for a Biden nominee.
Transition in Context
Biden made four Cabinet and Cabinet-rank nominations on Thursday, 65 days after the 2020 presidential election.
The only remaining position to be announced is director of the CIA. President Donald Trump (R) selected his nominee 10 days after the 2016 presidential election, while President Barack Obama (D)—who did not designate this office as Cabinet-rank—made an announcement 66 days after the 2008 presidential election.
What We’re Reading
- Politico: Inauguration planners reassessing security after Capitol siege
- The Wall Street Journal: Biden Taps Boston Mayor, Rhode Island Governor for Cabinet Positions
- The Washington Post: Biden in danger of having no confirmed Cabinet secretaries on first day of presidency