Suffolk professors react to Biden Cabinet picks


President-elect Joe Biden has begun the nomination process for his upcoming Cabinet. 

So far, Biden has appointed several positions to his administration, indicating a priority for pressing issues such as the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), will join the COVID-19 response team and serve as Biden’s chief medical adviser. John Kerry, former Massachusetts senator and Barack Obama’s second-term secretary of state, will tackle climate change as the nation’s first ever special climate envoy.  

Following the election, Biden said he intends to build an administration that reflects diversity and experience; “A cabinet that looks like America,” as described by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Suffolk political science professor Kenneth Cosgrove emphasized the value of experience when running a smooth transition between administrations.

“Transitions are really important because they set up the whole course of your first year,” Cosgrove said.

The process of filling these positions was highly anticipated with several former members of the Obama-Biden administration appointed to the upcoming cabinet.

Cosgrove also emphasized the complex diversity of America. 

“It’s an extremely complicated country,” he said. “Think about the real diversity of the country, not just the diverse categories.” 

Christina Kulich-Vamvakas, a political science professor at Suffolk, also shared her thoughts on the topic. “Biden needs to have a team that is ready to go and hit the ground running on day one,” she stated.

For the first time ever, the White House will have an all-female senior communications team. Kulich-Vamvakas added that the country will see a lot more professional and well-crafted statements, press conferences and communication as a whole.

Kulich-Vamvakas mentioned there is a high likelihood that partisanship on Capitol Hill will create some ugly confirmation battles, creating greater obstacles for highly partisan nominees, such as Neera Tanden for the Office of Management and Budget, known especially for her controversial and offensive behavior on Twitter.

However, according to Cosgrove, the success of Biden’s initial cabinet nominations will largely depend on the outcome of Georgia’s run-off senate races, determining which party will take control. Georgia’s run-off election for U.S. Senate will be held on Jan. 5, 2021.

Although many are optimistic of Biden’s administration, Kulich-Vamvakas explained that Biden is not the savior liberals hope to see, but rather an incrementalist.

“Everybody needs a bigger dose of patience,” she said. “There are many issues which will take a lot of time, money and collective effort to fix.”

Both professors emphasized how long and complex the transition process is, indicating that it’s still too early to predict the future of Biden’s cabinet. The nation will have a better perspective of how Biden’s transition will look once control of the senate is determined in January.