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As President Biden Awaits Cabinet Confirmation, White House Announces Interim Leaders

President Joe Biden has picked a slate of nearly two dozen acting officials to temporarily lead agencies as he waits for Congress to confirm his Cabinet.

According to a list of officials issued by the White House on Wednesday, most of the temporary leaders are career civil servants.

Still, the 46th president entered the White House on Inauguration Day with no Cabinet members yet confirmed by the Senate, making him the first president in recent history to take charge of the nation without key advisors in place.

Here's a full list of those who will be assisting in the next phase of the transition of government:

  • Central Intelligence Agency, David Cohen
  • Department of Defense, David Norquist
  • Department of Energy, David Huizenga
  • Department of Health and Human Services, Norris Cochran
  • Department of Homeland Security, David Pekoske
  • Department of Justice, Monty Wilkinson
  • Department of Labor, Al Stewart
  • Department of State, Dan Smith
  • Department of Treasury, Andy Baukol
  • Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Lora Shiao
  • General Services Administration, Katy Kale
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Steve Jurczyk
  • National Endowment for the Arts, Ann Eilers
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Adam Wolfson
  • Office of Management and Budget, Rob Fairweather
  • Office of National Drug Control Policy, Regina LaBelle
  • Office of Personnel Management, Kathy McGettigan
  • Small Business Administration, Tami Perriello
  • Social Security Administration, Andrew Saul
  • U.S. Agency for International Development, Gloria Steele
  • U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, Dev Jagadesan
  • U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Rich Mills
  • Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Maria Pagan
  • Five of Biden's Cabinet nominees faced Senate panels on Tuesday in the first step of the confirmation process.

    Among them were Janet Yellen, selected to lead the Treasury Department; Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden's choice to head the Department of Homeland Security; Antony Blinken to helm the State Department; retired Gen. Lloyd Austin for Secretary of Defense; and Avril Haines, to lead the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

    Prior to his swearing in, Biden pledged he'd hit the ground running on a number of his top priorities, ranging from reversing former President Trump's travel ban on Muslim-majority nations to rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, and taking the reigns on plans to curb the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the nation.

    Biden is expected to sign 17 executive actions within the first few hours of his presidency.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.
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