President Joe Biden boasted that his cabinet “looks like America” during his first meeting with his team on Thursday.
“This is the first in American history that the Cabinet looks like America,” Biden said as his cabinet gathered at the White House. “That’s what we promised we were going to do, and we’ve done it.”
Biden’s staff posted a picture of the cabinet gathered in one room, but remaining masked and socially distanced in order to follow federal health guidance during the coronavirus pandemic.
A Cabinet that looks like America. pic.twitter.com/XZNOSTE2GJ
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 2, 2021
Kamala Harris is the first female vice president, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is the first female Treasury Secretary, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is the first black defense secretary, and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is the first Native American cabinet secretary.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is the first Senate-confirmed openly gay cabinet secretary. (In February 2020, then-President Donald Trump named Richard Grenell the acting director of national intelligence, making him the first openly gay American to serve in a cabinet position.)
Biden’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget Neera Tanden would have been the first Indian-American in a cabinet position, but enough senators, including Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin, opposed her nomination which effectively killed her chances at confirmation.