Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Anthony Blinken, then deputy secretary of state speaks at a 2016 summit 2016 in New York City. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

President-elect Joe Biden will name as secretary of state his longtime adviser Antony Blinken, who has held diplomatic and national security jobs since the Clinton administration, a Biden adviser confirmed to Axios on Sunday.

Our thought bubble: By nominating Blinken, who has worked closely with Biden over the past two decades, Biden may return more authority to and work to rebuild the ranks and morale inside the diplomatic corps after President Trump moved to diminish its reach and centralize decision making inside the White House.

Between the lines: Biden made his decision to pick the longtime diplomat several days ago, but he was waiting to announce it along with other Cabinet picks this week.

What to expect: As Biden's envoy to the world, Blinken will carry out the president-elect's promise to re-engage with the world after four years of Trump's "America first" policy.

  • At an Axios event in October, Blinken said a Biden foreign policy would include "humility, because most of the world’s problems are not about us, even though they affect us."
  • "We can’t just flip a switch and solve them," said Blinken, who served in two key roles in the Obama administration. "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."

Of note: Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said earlier Sunday that Biden would begin making cabinet announcements on Tuesday.

The big picture: Blinken served as deputy national security adviser from 2013 to 2015 and deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017. He was Biden's top aide on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over 15 years ago. He started his career at the State Department in the Clinton administration.

  • Blinken went to grade school and high school in Paris, then graduated as a Harvard undergrad and went to Columbia Law School. He has practiced law in New York and Paris, and was a reporter for The New Republic.
  • In 2018, he founded the WestExec advisory firm with Michèle Flournoy, seen as a favorite to head Biden's Pentagon. 
  • Bloomberg first reported news of his expected appointment.

Go deeper: Full bio.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden finalizes full slate of Cabinet secretaries

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President-elect Joe Biden has officially finalized his picks for Cabinet secretaries, naming 10 men and 5 women to lead federal agencies in an administration he has pledged will "look like America."

Driving the news: Biden filled out his Cabinet on Thursday by nominating Judge Merrick Garland to be attorney general, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh to lead the Labor Department.

Ina Fried, author of Login
18 mins ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."