Biden names Raimondo, Walsh, and Guzman to top economic positions

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.

News

  • 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.

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About the author

Emily Aubert

Emily Aubert is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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