Biden taps women from Obama and Clinton teams for top jobs

US president-elect Joe Biden has given top positions to female former aides to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as he announced senior appointments to his economic and communications team on Sunday.

Mr Biden announced that Jennifer Psaki, the former White House communications director and State department spokesperson under Mr Obama, would serve as White House press secretary. He also tapped Kate Bedingfield to be White House communications director after serving in that role for his presidential campaign.

The announcement of the communications team came as it emerged that Neera Tanden, a former senior aide to Mrs Clinton, was set to be tapped by Mr Biden to be White House budget director, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr Biden is also poised to name Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton University labour economist, to be chair of the White House council of economic advisers. Serving alongside her on the council will be Jared Bernstein, Mr Biden’s former chief economist when he was vice-president, and Heather Boushey, an economist whose research is centred on combating inequality.

The economic appointments are likely to be announced this week with the selection of Janet Yellen, the former Fed chair, as Treasury secretary.

Ms Yellen is expected to be flanked by Wally Adeyemo, the president of the Obama foundation and a former international economic official during his administration — who is set to be named deputy Treasury secretary. The economic appointments were first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Mr Biden’s choices emerged at the end of the long Thanksgiving holiday, as the president-elect continued to fill out his team with a more diverse cast of senior officials than has been the case in past administrations. This was one of the key promises of the Democratic candidate during his campaign. The choices also reflect his need to balance the different factions of the Democratic party.

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