The person who will guide President-elect Joe Biden’s handling of the coronavirus, his intent to improve strained international relations, and his plan to revive U.S. global leadership and advocate for human rights and democracies around the world is the one who has been doing it all along.
Antony Blinken, 58, will be Biden’s choice for secretary of state, a choice confirmed by several news outlets after Bloomberg first reported it. He was Biden’s foreign policy adviser both during the campaign and during Biden’s time as vice president, when Blinken served as the Obama administration’s deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017 and deputy national security advisor from 2013 to 2015.
“There is an urgent leadership requirement internationally with regard to COVID-19,” Blinken told the Wall Street Journal recently. “The first thing we have to do is deal with, domestically as well as internationally, is working to get out from under the COVID-19 rock.”
Blinken was instrumental in the decisions to raid and kill Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2011 and the U.S. response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. He is considered “centrist on foreign policy,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
“I think you’d see the Biden administration acting on the one hand with some humility, because most of the world’s problems are not about us, even though they affect us,” Blinken said on a streamed Axios event last month. “We can’t just flip a switch and solve them. But also, with confidence, because America, at its best, still has a greater capacity than any country on earth to mobilize others in positive, collective action.”
The announcement is expected to be made Tuesday, when incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said several Cabinet selections would be announced.