A Guide to President Joe Biden’s Cabinet Picks


Renee Pascoe

With Joe Biden’s recent election to office this year comes a brand new Cabinet. Simply put, the Cabinet is an advisory body for the President. It consists of the vice president and fifteen executive departments: Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs. With a multitude of Cabinet departments, I thought it only made sense to make an easy-to-read guide on the President’s picks. If you’re not totally sure where to start with educating yourself on Biden’s presidency, this guide is for you!


Vice President

Who: Kamala Harris (first female, Black, South Asian VP!)

What: The VP is the second-highest officer in the executive branch. Harris presides over the Senate and succeeds to the presidency in the event of resignation or death. 

Where: from Oakland, CA

Secretary of State

Who: Antony Blinken

What: The Secretary of State supervises the State Department which works with foreign countries, decides on foreign travel, and protects U.S. citizens who are abroad. 

Where: from Yonkers, NY

Secretary of the Treasury

Who: Janet Yellen

What: The Secretary of the Treasury supervises the Treasury Department, which is in charge of the government’s fiscal (monetary) responsibilities, the Secret Service, and the collection of taxes.

Where: from Brooklyn, NY

Secretary of Defense

Who: Gen. Lloyd Austin

What: The Secretary of Defense leads the Defense Department, which ensures that the nation is protected against its enemies. The department also works closely with all branches of the armed forces.

Where: from Thomasville, GA 

Secretary of Agriculture

Who: Tom Vilsack

What: He leads the Department of Agriculture, the department which focuses on the safety and regulation of food production and works with farmers throughout the US.

Where: from Pittsburgh, PA

Secretary of Commerce

Who: Gina Raimondo

What: She leads the Department of Commerce. This assists the businesses of the nation, sets trading policies, and enforces rules regarding the movement of materials across the country and worldwide.

Where: from Smithfield, RI

Secretary of Education

Who: Miguel Cardona

What: He supervises the Department of Education which works with schools throughout the US to provide grants for programs and services relating to education.

Where: from Meriden, CT

Secretary of Homeland Security

Who: Alejandro Mayorkas

What: He leads the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is responsible for counterterrorism, security (cyber, border, aviation, maritime), administration and enforcement of immigration laws, protection of national leaders and infrastructure, protection against homeland threats, and response to disasters.

Where: Havana, Cuba; formerly served in the DHS under the Obama administration

Secretary of Energy

Who: Jennifer Granholm

What: She leads the Department of Energy which works on problems about energy and fuels such as coal, oil, gas, and atomic energy. The Department of Energy also promotes research on solar energy and alternate sources of power.

Where: from Michigan

Secretary of Transportation

Who: Pete Buttigieg

What: He administers the Department of Transportation, which enforces the laws and safety regulations regarding railroads, buses, ships and airplanes.

Where: from South Bend, IN

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Who: Xavier Becerra

What: He leads the Department of Health and Human Services which is concerned with welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security payments and matters.

Where: from  Sacramento, CA

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Who: Marcia Fudge

What: She administers the Department of Housing and Urban Development which specializes in issues related to the construction of homes for lower income Americans and plans for improved communities.

Where: from Cleveland, OH

Secretary of the Interior

Who: Deb Haaland

What: She leads the Department of the Interior which is concerned with the protection and improvement of the natural resources of the country’s national parks and forests.

Where: from Winslow, AZ

Secretary of Labor

Who: Marty Walsh

What: He supervises the Department of Labor, which assists and protects working people.

Where: from Boston, MA

Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Who: Denis McDonough

What: He runs the Department of Veterans Affairs which provides services to those who have served in the armed forces. 

Where: from Stillwater, VA

Department of Justice

Who: Attorney General Merrick Garland

What: The President’s main legal advisor in domestic matters. He ensures that laws are enforced and the people receive justice. He runs the Justice Department (not the same thing as a justice on the Supreme Court) and can appoint special investigation teams. 

Where: from Chicago, IL