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Nov. 23, 2020, 1:52 p.m. EST

Biden names Blinken secretary of state, Kerry as climate envoy

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By Mike MurphyRobert Schroeder

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday tapped Antony Blinken as secretary of state and John Kerry as a presidential climate envoy, moving to fill key foreign-policy positions.

Blinken is a longtime Biden adviser and a former deputy secretary of state.

The Biden-Harris transition said that Kerry, a former secretary of state, “will fight climate change full-time as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate” and that he will sit on the National Security Council. It will mark the first time that the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change, the transition said. Kerry’s position does not require Senate confirmation.

If confirmed by the Senate, Blinken will likely focus his efforts on mending international relations and rejoining the Paris climate accord, the World Health Organization and the Iran nuclear deal. He will also likely take a leading role in U.S. immigration and the refugee policies — a subject he discussed with “Sesame Street” in 2016.

Jake Sullivan, a former top aide to Hillary Clinton, was named Biden’s national security adviser. Biden’s team also said Linda Thomas-Greenfield will be nominated to serve as United Nations ambassador; Alejandro Mayorkas will be the first Latino and immigrant nominated to serve as homeland security secretary; and Avril Haines will be nominated to serve as director of national intelligence.

Sunday, the Associated Press reported that Biden would start naming his cabinet selections Tuesday. His pick for Treasury secretary is also expected this week, with Fed Gov. Lael Brainard and former Fed chair Janet Yellen among those expected to be in the running.

Also read: Here’s who could be in Joe Biden’s cabinet

Biden has already named longtime Democratic aide Ron Klain to be his White House chief of staff.

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