Biden to be sworn in as 46th president of the United States

January 20, 2021: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the 46th president and 49th vice president of the United States, respectively.

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.

Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts at noon on Wednesday. Biden will then give his inaugural address. Rev. Silvester Beaman, a pastor from Delaware, will conclude the ceremony with a benediction.

Kamala Harris will be sworn in as 49th vice president of the United States shortly before noon by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. 

Due to security concerns stemming from the breach of the U.S. Capitol, up to 25,000 National Guard members are expected to be in Washington, D.C. The National Mall is closed to the general public, and there will be no public parade from the Capitol to the White House.

Under the 20th Amendment, the terms of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will end at noon. Trump declined to participate in the inauguration and departed from the White House at approximately 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday for Palm Beach, Florida. The last president to skip his successor’s inauguration for political reasons was Andrew Johnson in 1869.


  • Biden announced the creation of a White House Gender Policy Council on Tuesday. Jennifer Klein, the chief strategy and policy officer at Time’s Up, and Jill Biden’s incoming chief of staff Julissa Reynoso will co-chair the council.
  • As president, Biden is expected to sign 17 executive orders, memoranda, and agency directives related to the coronavirus, economy, immigration, and other issues. This includes launching a mask mandate on federal property, ending the United States’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization, rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, and canceling the Keystone XL pipeline.

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