The President-elects transition team is one of the most diverse in history, with 46 percent comprising people of color.
Former President Donald Trump may not be ready for a Joe Biden administration, but Biden definitely is. In order to hit the ground running as soon as he assumes his position in the White House, the 46th President-to-be has already set up a transition team. This team, according to recently-published figures, comprises a large portion of people of color. Forty-six percent of the whole team is made up of people of color, and 52 percent of the transition team are women, CNN reports. This is a major milestone for BIPOC folks, who have historically been erased from positions of leadership, particularly in the Executive branch.
This is a key opportunity for Biden and his Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to prove that their new administration will, in fact, "look like America." With Harris as Biden's pick for VP, he ushered in a new era of representation. The duo's cabinet and White House staff picks now present a chance to prove that Biden's nomination is more than just tokenism, that it holds merit. While his VP is the first Black and South Asian woman to hold the position, his first staffing announcement was another White man: longtime adviser Ron Klain. Klain was appointed the White House Chief of Staff.
Biden's transition team, nonetheless, is more diverse than any other President's before. Forty-six percent of his team are folks of color, and 41 percent of the senior staff are people of color as well. Additionally, 53 percent of senior staff are women (in comparison to the 52 percent of the entire transition team). Furthermore, the President's advisory board comprises 43 percent people of color and 52 percent women. This trend further extends into Biden's Coronavirus task force: Nine of the 13 members of his COVID-19 advisory board are people of color and five of the members are women.
Though the General Services Administration is yet to recognize Biden as the official President of the United States, the transition team has already announced its agency review teams. These teams include an estimated 500 people, and more than half of these team members are women. In addition to this, 40 percent of the team "represent communities historically underrepresented in the federal government." These communities consist of people of color, individuals who identify as LGBTQ+, as well as people with disabilities. Ted Kaufman, co-chair of the Biden-Harris transition, explained why diversity forms such a crucial part of the Presidential duo's administration.
"For months, the Biden-Harris transition has laid the groundwork for a Biden-Harris administration, and at the core of that work is an unrelenting commitment to diversity," he stated. "As we continue working full-speed ahead to Inauguration, our diverse group of leaders and staff are reflective of America—upholding President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris' belief that through diverse voices we can develop and implement a policy vision to tackle our nation's toughest challenges." Data from Biden's transition team echo that from his campaign staff: 40 percent of his senior staff were people of color, and women made up 59 percent. He affirmed at a town hall focusing on issues faced by Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in June, "My administration's going to look like America, not just my staff, the administration from the vice president straight down through Cabinet members to major players within the White House, and the court. It's going to be a reflection of who we are as a nation."