On Tuesday, US President-elect Joe Biden released the names of hundreds of experts and former officials who will lay the foundation for the eventual transfer of power to various federal agencies, despite President Donald Trump's continued opposition to Biden's election victory.
The agencies' review teams are made up of groups of experts assigned to various agencies – including the ministries of state and defense, foreign aid agencies, and intelligence agencies – to do the preparatory work for the transition.
The Review teams provide early insight into the Biden administration's staff and foreign policy priorities, although members of such teams are not necessarily guaranteed jobs in the agencies they are supposed to review. Most of them are volunteers and come from various think tanks, consulting firms, universities and the private sector.
Biden vowed on Tuesday that his teams get "right to work," but when compared to previous in-depth administrations, his teams face major challenges at launch – a delay that, as seen in the George W. Bush administration, has lasting effects on national security can have readiness.
The Trump administration has not officially initiated the transition process. The General Services Administration, led by Emily Murphy, a Trump-appointed person, has so far done so refused Send what is known as an investigation letter confirming Biden's victory to begin the transition. The letter is key to unlocking government funds for the transition teams and allowing his "landing teams" to settle within the federal government for the latest intelligence and to plan more than 4,000 political appointments from high-level specialist assistants to the Senate confirmed jobs. Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff has said He doesn't expect the stalemate to end before Friday.
Despite Trump's obstacles, the Biden transition team appears to be pushing routine plans for a transition, downplaying the frustrations when Trump refuses to accept the election results and provides no evidence that the delays have changed the transition plan.
Experts on the agency's review teams are also giving early signs that the Biden campaign will keep its promises to diversify the administration's national security team in terms of racial and gender diversity. For example, of the 23 members of the Pentagon agency's review team, 15 are women. Of the 30 members of the State Department's review team, 18 are women.
Unsurprisingly, the team that will oversee the State Department points to a sharp turn away from Trump. The U.S. Department of State agency's review team consists of a number of former senior diplomats who were forced out of their jobs under Trump or resigned in protest of some of his controversial policies and have since been criticizing how the Trump administration pulled career diplomats from circulation traditional US alliances and engagements with international institutions are open.
The Department of Foreign Affairs team leader is Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a former professional diplomat who served for decades in the Department of Foreign Affairs and held senior positions including Director General of the Foreign Service and Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs. When she stepped down from her job in 2017 under Rex Tillerson, Trump's first secretary of state, she was the highest-ranking African American woman in the State Department. Current and former diplomats describe Thomas-Greenfield as a highly respected and balanced diplomat. Since leaving the department, Thomas-Greenfield has been an outspoken advocate of State Department reform and diversity enhancement, another indication that such issues will be a priority under the Biden administration.
Another member of the State Department team, Roberta Jacobson, stepped down from her position as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in 2018. Jacobson, who served at the State Department for over 30 years, was one of the State Department's finest experts and the most experienced in Latin America. She later publicly condemned the State Department's internal mismanagement and Trump's policies towards Mexico, saying the US-Mexico relationship was up His "Destroyed" under Trump.
Biden's transition team for the National Security Council consists of former senior members of the Obama administration's NSC who helped draft the Iranian nuclear deal and who have been outspoken critics of Trump's handling of Iran policies since the deal was broken in 2018. This includes Jeff Prescott, former Deputy National Security Advisor to then Vice President Biden and Senior Director for Iran, Iraq and Syria at NSC; Colin Kahl, former National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden; and Kelly Magsamen, another seasoned Middle East expert who served in the Pentagon and NSC during the Obama administration. Magsamen is vice president of national security and international politics at the Center for American Progress, an influential progressive think tank in democratic foreign policy circles.
With Michèle Flournoy, who is widely expected to be the first woman to become Secretary of Defense under the Biden administration, the Pentagon transition team will be led by several high-profile women national security voices – many focused on making the high-tech Strengthen the agency's weapons in order to prepare for a possible conflict with China. At the forefront of the effort is Kath Hicks, who led the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) at the Department of Defense while serving at Flournoy's powerful policy shop aimed at preparing the United States to confront irregular wars by terrorist groups. She also led the 2012 Strategic Defense Guidance, which urged the agency to focus on the Asia-Pacific region and deal with Chinese weapons denying U.S. access to the region as the agency opposed the dated Congress resisted budget ceilings. She will be joined by Christine Wormuth, who was confirmed as the Pentagon's top political official in 2014 and who headed the subsequent QDR in 2014. Susanna Blume, a former assistant chief of staff to Obama-era Assistant Secretary of Defense, Bob Work; and adm. Retired Michelle Howard, the first black woman to reach the highest rank in the Navy. Former Biden Deputy National Security Advisor Ely Ratner and former Department of Defense Comptroller Mike McCord is also on board.
The 17-member US intelligence community has long been a target of Trump's ire as president, and Biden's efforts to re-establish ties with the new administration are led by Stephanie O & # 39; Sullivan, a former deputy chief executive officer of Barack Obama's national intelligence agency. and Vince Stewart, a retired three-star Marine general who was the first black man to lead the Defense Intelligence Agency and was a senior deputy to US Cyber Command.