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Pete Buttigieg endorses Joe Biden in Dallas in March. Photo: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

One near-certainty about Joe Biden's Cabinet: Pete Buttigieg will be in it. Biden officials have made clear to donors and party officials the question surrounding Buttigieg is not if, but where, he lands, Democrats close to Biden tell Axios.

The intrigue: Behind that certainty, though, are a range of questions about how to put his obvious political talent to use.

  • The multilingual Buttigieg has told friends he wants U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, but he may face internal competition from Julie Smith, a longtime Biden foreign policy confidant.
  • Former diplomats Wendy Sherman and Linda Thomas-Greenfield are other possibilities.
  • Rep. Ted Deutch from Florida also has expressed interest.

Other slots for Buttigieg range from Housing and Urban Development to Veterans Affairs to the Office of Management and Budget.

One key question: How would Kamala Harris feel about having a potential 2024 rival lurking the Cabinet and building a donor base from a perch at the United Nations — and around New York City's big donors?

  • Some Buttigieg allies think he should take a job letting him burnish his credibility with the African American community, where he underperformed during the primaries.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden's green team emerges

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images     

The incoming Joe Biden administration just filled in some of the biggest blanks on its energy and climate team, and the decisions say plenty about its approach.

Catch up fast: Obama-era EPA boss Gina McCarthy is slated to be named Biden's White House domestic climate policy adviser to lead a government-wide policy push.

Dec 16, 2020 - Podcasts

Joe Biden's latest Cabinet picks

This week, we're hearing about even more Cabinet nominations for the Biden administration. Former South Bend mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is one — and now, we have the scoop on who will fill the roles of energy secretary and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Plus, what’s standing in the way of COVID herd immunity.
  • And, how virtual reality could help fight racism.

Nancy Pelosi's Interior play

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nancy Pelosi's public endorsement of Rep. Deb Haaland to be Interior secretary alleviates pressure on the House speaker from Native American groups — and throws it right back on Biden to put the New Mexico Democrat in his Cabinet.

Why it matters: The president-elect has been casting about to find an Interior secretary he both desires and adds diversity to a Cabinet he's pledged will resemble the American people. The Democrats' fear about losing their slim majority in the House had given him a reason not to pick Haaland, despite her wide tribal backing.