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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 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Schiff asks new intel chief Avril Haines to declassify Jamal Khashoggi report

Photo: congress.gov via Getty Images

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff on Friday formally asked Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to declassify a report on the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Why it matters: The Washington Post has reported that the CIA concluded with a high degree of confidence that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — a close ally of the Trump administration — ordered Khashoggi's assassination. The Trump administration never released the report to the public.

45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.