The saying goes, “Personnel is policy.” As President-elect Joe Biden continues to announce his choices for key leaders in the next administration, one point is clear: Addressing the climate crisis is a top, cross-cutting priority.
On the campaign trail, Biden called for a whole-of-government approach to four interconnected issues: The economy, public health, racial justice, and the climate crisis. His nominations now provide us with a peek at how he’ll deliver on that commitment.
Biden has signaled climate is a top priority by appointing Gina McCarthy, head of the Natural Resources Defense Council and former EPA administrator, as the White House climate lead, and former Secretary of State John Kerry to his national security team as Special Envoy for Climate. His climate team will also include:
- Congresswoman Deb Haaland will be a force as the first Indigenous Secretary of the Interior — an inspirational leader and advocate for climate action, conservation, and sovereign Tribal Nations.
- We are confident Michael Regan, the incoming EPA Administrator, will rebuild the EPA, restore the central role of science, and advance health protections for people and the air, water and land upon which we depend to thrive.
- Former Governor Jennifer Granholm as Energy Secretary, who led Michigan out of the last recession by investing in clean energy and transportation to create economic growth and high quality jobs.
- Brenda Mallory to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality, who brings decades of experience working on climate and natural resource issues and will play a critical role in driving environmental policy across the government and centering environmental justice.
- As Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg will help lead us to a 100% clean energy future. Buttigieg pushed for clean, place-based transportation as Mayor, and he campaigned for president on environmentally-smart infrastructure and disaster resilience and preparedness plans.
- Former LCV Board Member and former advisor to President Obama Brian Deese will lead the National Economic Council — the first climate expert to serve in this role, according to Biden himself. (Click here to read more about Biden’s economic team.)
LCV is tracking nominations and appointments to the Biden-Harris administration closely, and pushing for leaders who’ll champion our climate, environmental, and racial justice policy goals. So far, we are very optimistic about his personnel choices.
Likewise, we are pleased to see the incoming administration deliver on their commitment to staffing the government with a diverse set of leaders who are
more reflective of the makeup of our country by nominating women, people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ people to serve, for the first time in many cases, in key roles.
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris campaigned and won on climate and environmental justice, and their Cabinet and advisor choices make clear that their administration will prioritize action beginning on Day One.