While nothing has been confirmed yet, President-elect Joe Biden appears to be preparing to nominate Antony Blinken as Secretary of State, according to NPR.
Blinken is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School and began his foreign policy career under the Clinton administration. From 2002-2008, Blinken worked closely with Biden as a Democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He then went on to be then-Vice President Biden’s national security advisor during the Obama administration. Currently, he serves as managing partner at WestExec Advisors, a firm he founded.
According to the Associated Press, Blinken’s early work in the new role, if confirmed, would be heavily focused on attempting to repair relationships with foreign governments and allies that became strained under the Trump administration. He will also be tasked with boosting the State Department in almost every way, as there has been a high turnover rate under the Trump administration.
Blinken wasn’t the only person shortlisted for the position. Susan Rice, who served as national security advisor under Obama, was rumored to have been considered — though a Rice nomination would likely mean a battle in the Senate. Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware was also rumored to be an option, though that would have put another Senate seat up in the air while Democrats are waiting for two election results that will determine control of the chamber.
Biden went ahead with the transition process after the election was called for him the week of November 3rd, despite Trump’s refusal to concede, apparent desperate attempts to grab power where it doesn’t exist, and unsuccessful legal challenges in a number of states. Trump has also refused to aid Biden’s transition, meaning the incoming administration has had to fund their own entrance into the White House — both literally and figuratively.
A formal announcement by Biden about Blinken’s nomination and other vital cabinet picks is expected to happen this Tuesday.