Foreign Policy for America Statement on President-elect Biden’s Foreign Policy and National Security Appointments

November 24, 2020

Foreign Policy for America Statement on President-elect Biden’s Foreign Policy and National Security Appointments

Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America congratulates the supremely qualified foreign policy and national security professionals appointed to President-elect Biden’s administration: Tony Blinken as Secretary of State, Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security, Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor, and former Secretary of State John Kerry as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. 

Together they send a powerful message about President-elect Joe Biden’s vision of diplomacy-first foreign policy.

We’re thrilled to see the appointments of leaders with such extraordinary experience and qualifications. After four years of the Trump Administration’s costly “America alone” foreign policy, this team will be ready on day one to restore principled American engagement in the world and to stand up for the values of democracy, human rights, openness, and fairness that have earned us the respect of allies and partners around the world. Each of these appointees is a champion of diplomacy-first foreign policy, committed to restoring diplomacy as our tool of first resort. Each one is committed to reversing the xenophobia that animated the Trump Administration. We applaud the inclusion of a Special Presidential Envoy for Climate among this top tier of national security appointees. Collectively they illustrate the President-elect’s top priorities.

“At a time when the world grapples with a global pandemic and economic recession, President-elect Biden is sending with these appointments a powerful signal of our commitment to principled American engagement in the world,” said FP4A Executive Director Andrew Albertson. “The days of ideological hacks and childish infighting are over. For the most important roles in our national security bureaucracy, Joe Biden has appointed the most talented, qualified, and trustworthy individuals.”

Five of these appointees have been close supporters and advisors to Foreign Policy for America:

One of FP4A’s most active advisors, Tony Blinken has served in two administrations over three decades, holding top roles on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and at the State Department. He has also played a crucial role in helping shape and communicate the President-elect’s foreign policy vision over the years. As a co-chair of FP4A’s policy committee during the 115th Congress, we’ve seen that Blinken believes in leading not just with the example of our power, but the power of our example. We’re looking forward to seeing him return to the State Department, where he began his career in public service, and we can’t wait to see the work he will do to strengthen the Department and revitalize American diplomacy.

Another top FP4A advisor, Avril Haines is not a politician or political figure – she’s a seasoned professional with years of experience in the intelligence community. She was the first woman to serve as Deputy Director of the CIA and will now be the first woman to serve as Director of National Intelligence. In working with Haines, who co-chaired our biannual policy meetings for the 116th Congress, we’ve witnessed firsthand her integrity and commitment to our country’s highest values. We look forward to seeing her play a critical role in safeguarding our national security.

Also an FP4A advisor, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield is a career diplomat with nearly four decades of experience in the U.S. Foreign Service. One of the most respected diplomats of her generation, she is held in rare esteem by her colleagues and counterparts around the world. President-elect Biden has indicated he will elevate her role as Ambassador to the UN to a cabinet-level position, demonstrating that restoring diplomacy as America’s tool of first resort is a priority for this administration. We’ve been fortunate to partner with Amb. Thomas-Greenfield over the past two years as we called attention to the need to revitalize American diplomacy. She is the perfect representative of our country to the United Nations.

Jake Sullivan is a supremely qualified leader, who served as a top advisor to then Vice President Biden and, later, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Sullivan has been an ally of FP4A since our founding, and he spoke at FP4A’s Washington, DC launch event in 2017. As one of the principal architects of the international agreement to block Iran’s pathways to obtaining a nuclear weapon (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), Sullivan is a champion of diplomacy-first foreign policy and is an ideal choice to lead President-elect Joe Biden’s National Security Council.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry has been a strong ally and supporter of Foreign Policy for America, speaking frequently at our events. As Secretary of State, he negotiated the Paris Climate Accord and the JCPOA, two landmark achievements of the Obama Administration. His appointment communicates to our allies the urgency with which the Biden administration views the climate crisis and the need to immediately restore principled U.S. engagement in the world. No one is more qualified to take on this vital role and to hit the ground running on day one.