Politics & Policy

Biden Expected to Tap Longtime Adviser Antony Blinken as Secretary of State

Former Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken listens to journalists’ questions during a news conference, at a hotel in Mexico City April 30, 2015. (Henry Romero/Reuters)

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name his longtime foreign policy adviser Antony Blinken as his secretary of state.

The former vice president is expected to begin filling out his cabinet this week and could announce Blinken for the prestigious position as soon as Tuesday, Bloomberg News reported. Biden’s upcoming chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday that the transition would move more swiftly than either the Obama or Trump transitions despite President Trump’s refusal so far to concede the election.

Blinken, 58, has worked with Biden since 2002 and served as the vice president’s national security adviser before he was promoted in 2015 to deputy secretary of State under President Obama. A graduate of Harvard and Columbia Law School, Blinken was also Biden’s staff director while Biden was a senator from Delaware and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a role he left to work with Biden on his 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination, which he ultimately lost to former President Obama.

During Biden’s successful presidential campaign this year, Blinken served as the Democratic nominee’s top foreign policy advisor and spokesman.

Blinken, a descendant of Holocaust survivors, is known to lean in favor of intervening militarily in crises around the world that could endanger innocent lives, perhaps more so than Biden. However, the two find themselves in agreement more often than not, including on supporting the Iran nuclear deal.

Other members of the upcoming administration expected to be announced soon are Jake Sullivan, previously a close aide to Hillary Clinton, as Biden’s national security adviser, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Biden’s ambassador to the United Nations.

Biden’s upcoming announcements of his cabinet picks come as the Trump campaign suffers several more legal defeats in its bid to overturn the election results in several battleground states that were called for Biden. The Trump administration has so far refused to work with Biden’s transition team leading up to the transfer of presidential power in January.

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