What message does Biden send to the world with his cabinet nominations?
Some of the appointments are high-profile in American politics but, what do they mean for neighboring nations? The appointment of Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador seems to herald a change.
This week, while the country celebrated the many cabinet appointments President-elect Joe Biden must make, the rest of the world was taking notes of the different profiles of each appointee. On the surface, they draw a more pluralistic map than the previous administration to redirect and fit new geopolitical measures that take the form of individual actions.
Biden made a quick call to Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a retired veteran diplomat who has served on four continents for over 30 years, who to return and represent the U.S. at the United Nations as an ambassador. She then posted a message on social media with a picture of herself and John Kerry declaring herself ready to return to work. Her profile is that of a person at ease with the (colonial) impact of U.S. policy in Africa, and she had already served as a representative in sub-Saharan countries under Obama, such as Liberia, Pakistan, Kenya, Gambia, Nigeria, and Jamaica.
The President-elect continued the transition process with the appointment of Antony Blinken as Secretary of State, who has a broad knowledge of diplomatic circles and is a profound pro-European who has expressed on several occasions his commitment to the Trans-Atlantic alliance and cooperation between nations. His appointment could be good for the relationship with Europe, but also with China and Iran. Jake Sullivan, young but with a broad political career, who would have been a professor at Yale Law School and advisor in the negotiations with Iran, has also been appointed National Security Counselor.
The early appointments also provoked media hype over diversity, with the appointments of Alejandro Mayorkas as director of the Department of Homeland Security and Avril Haines as director of National Intelligence — the first woman to hold the position.
Joy was also building in some progressive media over the appointment of Cuban-American lawyer Mayorkas and the fact that a Latino would be left in charge of immigration policy. However, it should be remembered, especially given the experiences with previous governments, the immigration problem is not only crossed by race and gender but, above all, is a problem of class and poverty. In other words, borders are not just a matter of nationality and have an extreme penchant for money grubbing.
On all the appointments so far, counting Senate confirmation, Joe Biden said: "Together, these public servants will restore the United States globally, its global leadership, and its moral leadership."
In any case, it seems that the rest of the world is breathing a little easier as all these appointments fit the predictions necessary for saving agreements like the Paris Climate Agreement and the financing of the World Health Organization.