In The Daily Messenger, columnist Richard Hermann offers suggested Biden cabinet members, including a new position for crisis communications.
Consider this thought experiment a “dream sheet” proposal of what could happen come Jan. 20, 2021. President-elect Joe Biden has the opportunity to put together the best, most capable and most diverse government ever. The contrast with the current dismal crop of “yes-men” and nebbishes would be stunning.
Moreover, this is an opportunity to both rename existing departments and agencies to better reflect their missions, and establish new ones to meet present and future demands. The following list is designed to do that:
Department of Agriculture and Food Security (renamed): Etherin Cousin, former director, World Food Program. The pandemic demonstrates the importance of ensuring that all Americans have a right to food.
Department of Commerce and Industry (renamed): Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors. Commerce, a mishmash of unrelated functions, needs its title to reflect its most important missions.
Department of Defense: William McRaven, admiral, U.S. Navy, retired.
Department of Education: Michael Bennet, senator, former Denver Schools superintendent. Bennet did a fantastic job in Denver.
Department of Energy: Larry Culp, CEO, GE Renewable Energy. Renewables are the future.
Department of Health and Human Services: Leana Wen, former Baltimore Public Health director.
Department of Homeland Security: Val Demings, former Orlando Police chief.
Department of Housing and Urban Development: Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta mayor.
Department of Interior and Climate (renamed): Jay Inslee, Washington state governor. Climate change issues are real and must be elevated to the prominence they deserve.
Department of Justice: Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota senator.
Department of Labor and Employment (renamed): Richard Trumka, president, AFL-CIO. Employment merits equal status with the organized labor focus that has dominated heretofore.
Department of State: Susan Rice, former national security adviser.
Department of Treasury: Richard Cordray, former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Ohio attorney general. Although Elizabeth Warren would be the first choice for Treasury, her appointment would allow Massachusetts’ GOP governor to appoint a Republican to her Senate seat. That’s too high a price to pay.
Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (renamed): Kancheepuram Gunalan, president, American Society of Civil Engineers. The perfect place to mobilize and coordinate a national program to build and maintain our public works.
Department of Veterans Affairs: David Petraeus, general, U.S. Army, retired.
Department of Crisis Management (new): Richard Levick, dean of the crisis management profession. The pandemic exposes the need for a national planning and reaction agency. Homeland Security does not encompass these kinds of crises.
Department of Intellectual Property (new): Jay Erstling, former head, Patent Cooperation Treaty Office, World Intellectual Property Organization. IP now plays a central role in economic growth and has become an international competition we cannot afford to ignore.
Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (new): Andrew Yang, entrepreneur. The need for such a coordinating department is acute. No great power that has denied science and expertise has ever endured.
Why three new departments? Two — Science, Technology and Innovation, and Intellectual Property — are about investment for future growth and protecting American ingenuity. Both will also contribute to bringing down our runaway deficits and debt, and elevate U.S. intellectual property protection from the backwater it has been to date. A Department of Crisis Management will “think and plan forward” and not allow the U.S. to be caught off-guard.
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection: Pete Buttigieg, former mayor, South Bend, Indiana.
Centers for Disease Control and Protection: Ashish Jha, director, Brown University School of Public Health.
Chair, Council of Economic Advisers: Jared Bernstein, chief economics adviser to the vice president, Obama administration.
CIA: Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor and secretary of Homeland Security…Read more