President-elect Joe Biden is bringing familiar faces back to the White House with his new administration picks. However, several are coming back in a demoted position.
Susan Rice, who once served as the national security adviser under former President Barack Obama was picked by Biden to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council, Politico reported. Rice was also reportedly considered for the role of Secretary of State, but the position was given to Antony Blinken, who served as Deputy National Security Advisor from 2013-2015 and Deputy Secretary of State from 2015-2017.
As a member of the Domestic Policy Council, Rice will be tasked with coordinating policy-making decision processes and ensuring that policies and programs put forth are in line with the president’s goals. On the other hand, the national security adviser advises the president on matters related to national security while also assisting the president with meetings with world leaders.
Rice came under fire in 2017 after she unmasked the identities of senior officials in President Donald Trump’s administration. She was accused of improperly unmasking the officials who were identified in reports compiled by the intelligence community.
Samantha Power was once a member of the National Security Council, joining the Obama White House in 2009. By 2011, she was pushing for military intervention in Libya despite Biden, who was then vice president, opposing the no-fly zone which Obama later supported. (RELATED: Trump Promises ‘More To Come’ In His Legal Fight Despite Biden’s Official Electoral College Win)
However, Biden is considering Power to lead the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), according to Axios. As USAID director, Power would help decide whether the U.S. should rejoin the World Health Organization and how to conduct our pandemic response on an international scale rather than handle national security matters, according to the report.
SCOOP: Joe Biden is considering Samantha Power to head USAID, a move that would signal the Biden administration plans to revitalize foreign assistance. https://t.co/HiLroahoe7
— Axios (@axios) December 14, 2020
Power has advocated for humanitarian interventions and once wrote that the U.S. should be “prepared to risk the lives of its soldiers” to counter assaults on civilians abroad, according to The New Yorker.
She’s also criticized Trump’s foreign policy approach, calling his decision to withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Agreement damaging to “effective multilateralism,” according to The Guardian.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry, who was involved in the creation of the Iran Nuclear Deal, was appointed to a cabinet-level official position to tackle climate change and will also sit on the National Security Council, according to CNN.
Obama’s former Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who advised Obama on key policy decisions, is set to be nominated for Veterans Affairs, according to NPR.