Sep 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden taps former Delaware governor to lead Afghan resettlement in the U.S.

Jack Markell in Chile in front in the photo
Jack Markell. Photo by Sebastián Vivallo Oñate/Agencia Makro/LatinContent via Getty Images.

President Biden on Friday appointed Jack Markell, a former governor of Delaware, to temporarily lead the Afghan resettlement effort in the United States, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The massive push to resettle Afghan refugees fleeing Taliban rule faces considerable challenges, including the screening and housing of tens of thousands of people.

Driving the news: The U.S. is preparing to bring in 50,000 Afghan refugees and has already welcomed more than 31,000 since August 17.

  • Markell will coordinate the operation called "Operation Allies Welcome" and is expected to start next week, the Post reports.

Details: Markell served as governor of Delaware from 2009 to 2017 and is a former chair of the National Governors Association.

  • He also served as a senior vice president of Comcast and Nextel Communications, and he currently runs his own consulting firm.

What they're saying: The White House believes Markell's experience in both the public and private sector will help him coordinate the resettlement, per the Post.

  • "Welcoming these families is in the best traditions of our country, and we are grateful to see the outpouring of support from people across this country who are ready to help resettle vulnerable Afghans and welcome them to their new homes,” Markell said in a statement.
Go deeper