US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed Pete Buttigieg, the openly gay former mayor, as his transportation secretary. If confirmed, he will be the first LGBTQ person to hold a cabinet position in the country.
Biden also decided to appoint Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan, to head the department of energy, which is entrusted with the maintenance of the country’s nuclear arsenal. And Gina McCarthy, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, will be Biden’s head of domestic climate policy.
Buttigieg and Granholm, which had not yet been officially announced, will have to be confirmed by the US Senate.
Biden said in a statement that he was appointing Buttigieg’s transportation secretary because “this position is at the heart of so many interconnected challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Work, infrastructure, equity and climate come together at DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to rebuild better ”.
“This is a time of extraordinary opportunity: creating jobs, addressing the climate challenge and improving equity for all,” Buttigieg said in a tweet. “I am honored that the president-elect has asked me to serve our nation as transportation secretary.”
Buttigieg’s selection is in line with Biden’s promise to appoint a cabinet that reflects the country’s diversity. He will join Neera Tanden, the first American Indian-named cabinet secretary in charge of the budget department; Janet Yellen, the first female secretary to the treasury; Lloyd Austin, the first African American to be appointed defense secretary; Katherine Tai, the first US sales representative appointed by American Taiwanese; and Xavier Becerra and Alejandro Mayorkas, the first Latins to head the national health and security departments respectively. And, of course, Kamala Harris, the first vice president of color, female, Asian American and Indian American.
“Once confirmed, Pete will soon go down in history as the first member of the LGBTQ government confirmed by the Senate, a milestone worth celebrating,” said Alphonso David, chairman of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ advocate in the country. United States, in a tweet.
The former mayor of South Bend in the state of Indiana, who is married to Chasten Buttigieg, has leapt to national prominence as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, going against supporters Biden, a former vice president then, and Senators Harris, Elizabeth Warren. and Bernie Sanders. He became the first openly gay person to win a presidential primary / caucus, taking back Iowa.
Buttigieg was among the first group of candidates to leave the race and backed Biden after the former vice president won the South Carolina primary, which put him on the road to nomination and ultimately the White House.
Buttigieg is a former military intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan in 2014. He is a graduate of Harvard and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.