A new president and a new Cabinet: Recap of President Biden’s inauguration and who’s who in the Cabinet

Image of Joe Biden.

2020 has been a chaotic year, but 2021 brings in a new president. 46 President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in on Jan. 20. 

Inauguration day was packed full of a heightened security detail and a mass amount of National Guard troops protecting the Capitol after the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

In attendance at the inauguration were both President Biden’s family and Vice President Harris’ family, as well as many senators, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Bernie Sanders, and many more. Former vice president Mike Pence and his wife were also both seen in attendance at the inauguration.  

Former president Donald Trump tweeted out on Jan. 8 that he would not be attending the inauguration, making him the first president to not attend a succeeding president’s inauguration in about 150 years. There have been only three other presidentsJohn Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnsonin United States history that chose to not attend their successors’ inauguration.

Even with Trump’s absence from the inauguration, Biden and Harris were sworn in at around noon time.

Other attendees at the inauguration included former presidents and first ladies Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, George W. Bush and Laura Bush, and Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. 

President Biden was sworn in using the Biden family Bible, which has been in the Biden family since 1893. Biden has used that Bible for every swearing-in ceremony of his political career of almost 50 years. 

The fanfare surrounding the inauguration has not been the only excitement about the new Biden-Harris administration. Here’s the who’s who of Biden’s cabinet:

Confirmed by the Senate as of Jan. 26:

Secretary of State: Antony Blinken

Antony Blinken served during the Obama administration as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security advisor and advised Biden on national security while he was vice president.

Secretary of Defense: Retired General Lloyd Austin

Retired General Lloyd Austin is a four-star Army general who served 41 years, and was head of U.S. Central Command (2013-2016). Austin is the first African American secretary of defense.

Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines

During the Obama administration, Haines was principal deputy national security advisor and deputy director of the CIA. Avril Haines is the first woman to head national intelligence.

Secretary of Treasury: Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen has been the chair of the Federal Reserve (2014-2018), chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, and was the first woman to run the Federal Reserve. Yellen also has become the first woman to run the Treasury Department. 

Confirmation needed by the Senate:

Secretary of Homeland Security: Alejandro Mayorkas

Alejandro Mayorkas served as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2009-2013, and then as deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. If Mayorkas is confirmed, he will become the first immigrant and Latino to hold the position. 

Ambassador to the UN: Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Linda Thomas-Greenfield has an extensive career in diplomacy. She worked as assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs and served as ambassador to Liberia. 

Secretary of Health and Human Services: Xavier Becerra

Xavier Becerra is a former congressman and current attorney general of California. If he is confirmed, Becerra would be the first Latino to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, according to NPR.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Marcia Fudge

Representative Marcia Fudge has served in the House of Representatives since 2008 and is a former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Denis McDonough

Denis McDonough is former chief of staff to President Obama and was principal deputy national security adviser. 

Secretary of Labor: Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has served in Massachusetts House of Representatives, is serving his second term as mayor, and has worked to raise the minimum wage, and support paid family leave and clean energy. 

Secretary of Transportation: Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana (2012-2020). Buttigieg would become the first openly LGBTQ+ person to have a permanent Cabinet position. 

Secretary of Energy: Jennifer Granholm

Jennifer Granholm is a former governor of Michigan (2003-2011), and worked heavily with the auto industry in Michigan, focusing on clean energy development during the financial crisis. 

Secretary of the Interior: Deb Haaland

Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico is one of the first two Native American congresswomen. If she is confirmed, she will become the first Native American to hold a Cabinet position. Haaland is a member of the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico and if she is confirmed to the position, her role would be managing the nation’s public lands as well as honoring treaties with Indigenous communities whose lands were taken.

Secretary of Education: Miguel Cardona

According to NPR, Miguel Cardona is a former teacher and assistant superintendent who has been the education commissioner of Connecticut since August 2019.

Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency: Michael Regan

If confirmed by the Senateaccording to NPRMichael Regan would become the first African American man to run the EPA. The issue of climate change is one of the top issues for the Biden administration, and Regan is a former EPA official and North Carolina’s environment secretary. 

A new president has been sworn in, a new Cabinet is being confirmed, and with that brings new wave of change. President Biden promised to make his Cabinet “the most diverse Cabinet in history,” (8) and many of his Cabinet picks will mark a lot of firsts in history. 

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