- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 10, 2020

Presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden on Thursday named Susan Rice, the former national security adviser during the Obama administration, to head the White House Domestic Policy Council, among other key administration appointments.

Ms. Rice, whose background is largely in national security and foreign policy, was thought to be in the mix for a post such as secretary of state or national security adviser.

She was also the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2009-2013.

The director of the White House Domestic Policy Council is a position that notably does not require confirmation from the U.S. Senate.

Ms. Rice came under intense scrutiny for her role in defending the Obama administration in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Mr. Biden also named former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough as his pick to be secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Mr. McDonough was former President Barack Obama’s chief of staff from 2013-2017.

Veterans groups had been anticipating that Mr. Biden might tap a combat veteran for the VA secretary post, potentially one with experience in the post-9/11 War on Terror.

As expected, Mr. Biden also named Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio as his pick to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to head the Department of Agriculture, and Capitol Hill trade lawyer Katherine Tai as his pick for U.S. trade representative.

Mr. Vilsack would reprise the role that he held during the Obama administration when Mr. Biden was vice president.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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