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Tony Blinken at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad in 2016. Photo: Pool / The Embassy of the United States of America in Baghdad/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday unveiled his nominations for top national security positions in his administration, tapping former Secretary of State John Kerry as his climate czar and former deputy national security adviser Avril Haines as director of national intelligence.

Why it matters: Haines, if confirmed, would make history as the first woman to oversee the U.S. intelligence community. Biden also plans to nominate Alejandro Mayorkas to become the first Latino secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Full list:

  • Secretary of State: Tony Blinken
  • National Security adviser: Jake Sullivan
  • Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines
  • Department of Homeland Security Secretary: Alejandro Mayorkas
  • U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: Linda Thomas-Greenfield
  • Special presidential envoy on climate: John Kerry

Between the lines, via Axios' Margaret Talev: The list, set to be announced at an event in Delaware on Monday, is a deliberate effort to package nominees in a way that suggests diversity.

  • Neither Sullivan nor Kerry will have to endure confirmation hearings, but it brings Kerry into the administration in what is likely to be an important role.
  • The list notably does not include Biden's pick to lead the Pentagon, a choice likely to draw intense scrutiny from anti-war and progressive Democrats.

The bottom line: All six of Biden’s national security picks held senior roles in the Obama administration, with several of them working in the agencies they have now been picked to lead — a reflection of Biden's obsession with bringing stability back to governance.

Go deeper: Unpacking Joe Biden's decision to tap John Kerry as his climate envoy

Go deeper

Jan 21, 2021 - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

GOP research firm aims to hobble Biden nominees

Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Joshua Roberts/AFP via Getty Images

The Republican-aligned opposition research group America Rising is doing all it can to prevent President Biden from seating his top Cabinet picks.

Why it matters: After former President Trump inhibited the transition, Biden is hoping the Republican minority in Congress will cooperate with getting his team in place. Biden hadn't even been sworn in when America Rising began blasting opposition research to reporters targeting Janet Yellen and Alejandro Mayorkas.

Biden appoints swath of acting agency leaders

Joe Biden in the White House on Jan. 20. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday appointed acting leaders to federal agencies to temporarily hold the posts until the Senate can confirm his nominees.

Why it matters: The impeachment trial for former President Trump will prevent the chamber from confirming Biden's nominees and may inhibit his efforts to heal the country and its economy.