Here are people Barack Obama has chosen for key posts in his
administration after he takes office on 20 January.
Secretary of State– New York Senator Hillary Clinton,
Mr Obama’s former
Democratic Party rival for the White House, was named to the top
diplomatic post. The move is seen as part of Mr Obama’s effort to
rebuild the country’s reputation abroad. Aides have said Mr Obama
admires Ms Clinton’s work ethic and also believes the former first
lady’s star power would boost his vision of improving the country’s
Secretary of Defense- Current Secretary of Defense Robert
Gates, named by
President George W Bush in late 2006, is considered a moderate voice on
the Republican’s national security team and embodies an important signal
of continuity. Mr Obama had said early on he would include Republicans
in his Cabinet and the 65-year-old Mr Gates has been lauded by members
of both parties since taking over the Pentagon from Donald Rumsfeld.
Treasury Secretary- Timothy Geithner, president of the New
Reserve Bank, is Mr Obama’s choice for the Treasury Department, making
him Mr Obama’s point person in dealing with the economic crisis. Mr
Geithner has helped lead efforts to stabilize financial markets and
argued that banks crucial to the global financial system should operate
under a unified regulatory framework.
Homeland Security- Janet Napolitano, the Democratic Governor
Arizona, was named to head the US Homeland Security Department, a
sprawling agency formed to bolster civil defence following the 11
National Economic Council- Lawrence Summers, 53, has been
chosen to head the
council. He was treasury secretary for the final 1-1/2 years of the
Clinton Administration and has been a senior adviser to Mr Obama for
several months, helping to guide his response to the financial meltdown.
National Security Advisor- Retired Marine General James
Jones, the former top
operational commander of NATO, was named by Mr Obama to be his national
security adviser. Mr Jones is widely respected by both Democrats and
Republicans and has avoided aligning himself with either party but is
known to have been a strong critic of the Bush administration’s handling
of the Iraq war.
CIA Director- Former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon
has received the nod to head the CIA. Mr Panetta, best known for
imposing order on President Bill Clinton’s White House during his
1994-1997 stint as chief of staff, has relatively little experience in
national security matters. But his choice could appease some liberal
activists who have said that Mr Obama’s other picks for key
national-security posts are too hawkish.
Attorney General- Eric Holder, a former Justice Department
the Clinton Administration, will run the Justice Department. Mr Holder
has been a senior legal adviser to Mr Obama’s campaign and helped vet
his vice presidential candidates.
Secretary of Energy- Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence
National Laboratory who shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics, is Mr
Obama’s choice for secretary of energy. Mr Chu was an early advocate for
finding scientific solutions to climate change and guided the Lawrence
Berkeley laboratory to become the world leader in alternative and
renewable energy research.
Secretary of Interior- Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado,
who once practiced
as an environmental lawyer, was named to head the Interior Department.
The son of Americans of Mexican descent, he will be a key member of Mr
Obama’s energy team who would oversee the leasing of federal lands for
oil and gas drilling.
Energy, Environment Coordinator- Carol Browner, the former
head of the Environmental
Protection Agency during the Clinton Administration, was named to a new
position coordinating White House policy on energy, climate and
environmental issues. The new position was expected to spearhead climate
Secretary of Health and Human Services- Tom Daschle, a key
early supporter and savvy former
US Senate leader, was selected by Mr Obama as Secretary of Health and
Human Services. The high-profile selection signals that the push to
extend health coverage to the 46 million uninsured Americans will be a
high priority for Mr Obama.
Secretary of Education- Arne Duncan, head of the Chicago
system, is Mr Obama’s pick for Secretary of Education. Mr Duncan, a
fellow Harvard graduate and long-time friend of Mr Obama’s, has earned a
strong reputation at the helm of the country’s third-largest public
school district, tackling problems including teacher quality and failing
Secretary of Agriculture- Tom Vilsack, a former governor from
the major US
farm state Iowa, is Mr Obama’s choice to be agriculture secretary. Mr
Vilsack backs tighter farm subsidy rules and new-generation biofuels.
One of his major issues as governor was bringing more high-tech
agribusiness to Iowa.
Secretary of Transportation- Representative Ray
LaHood, a Republican, has been offered the job of
transportation secretary. Mr LaHood hails from Mr Obama’s home state of
Illinois and is said to have a rapport with the president-elect.
Securities and Exchange Commission- Mary Schapiro, a veteran
financial market regulator,
is Mr Obama’s pick to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ms
Schapiro currently leads the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority,
the largest nongovernmental regulator for all securities firms doing
business with the US public. She is a former SEC commissioner and former
chairwoman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
Secretary of Labor- California Democratic Representative Hilda
51, has been chosen to lead the Department of Labor. Ms Solis, who
represents a Southern California district made up largely of Hispanic
and Asian voters, is among the most liberal members of the US House of
Representatives and has taken a lead on both environmental and labour
US Trade Representative- Former Dallas Mayor Ron
Kirk has been selected to be US trade representative. Mr Kirk,
a partner at the Houston-based law firm of Vinson and Elkins, is little
known in Washington trade circles and became Mr Obama’s pick after his
first choice, Representative Xavier Becerra, a California Democrat and
member of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, turned
down the job.
Director of National Intelligence– Retired Navy
Admiral Dennis Blair is Mr Obama’s choice to be the top
US intelligence official. As director of national intelligence, Mr
Blair would oversee the entire US intelligence apparatus and be
responsible for delivering Mr Obama’s daily intelligence briefing. His
nomination would keep an experienced military leader in the post. Mr
Blair is a four-star admiral and former top US military commander in the
Photo by flickr user Ethan
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