President Joe Biden’s administration is ushering in one of the most diverse Cabinets in history with the inclusion of Latino members like Xavier Becerra and Isabel Guzman. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump began his presidency with no Latinos in his Cabinet though eventually two Latinos served. Nationwide, Biden got 66 percent of Latino support in national exit polls so including Latinos in his Cabinet reflects his promise to work with the Latinx community.
Biden said at an event that his “historic cabinet” would have more people of color than any in U.S. history, as well as the most women and the nation’s first openly gay cabinet member with Pete Buttigieg. “It’s a cabinet that looks like America, taps into the best of America, and opens doors and includes the full range of talents we have in this nation.”
Here are the Latino Cabinet members Biden has nominated so far.
Dr. Miguel Cardona – Education Secretary
Started career as a fourth grade public school teacher in my hometown. Went on to serve as elementary school principal, and most recently served children, teachers, & parents as Commissioner of Ed. Feel blessed to be nominated as education secretary! Thx @JoeBiden @KamalaHarris pic.twitter.com/ZBoqnxFhgG
— Dr. Miguel A. Cardona (@teachcardona) December 24, 2020
Dr. Miguel Cardona is Connecticut’s commissioner of education and as education secretary would oversee the process of getting the nation’s students back into school amid this pandemic. Cardona began his career as an elementary school teacher in Connecticut and later served as principal for a decade. In 2003, Cardona, then 28, was the youngest principal in the state at Hanover Elementary School in Meriden, Conn. He then became an assistant superintendent for teaching and learning at Meriden Public Schools in 2013 and later becoming head of the state’s K-12 schools in the summer of 2020. Cardona, who is of Puerto Rican descent, also attended public schools in Connecticut. “For too many students, public education in America has been a flor pálida: a wilted rose, neglected, in need of care,” he said accepting his nomination. “We must be the master gardeners who cultivate it, who work every day to preserve its beauty and its purpose.”
Isabel Guzman – Small Business Administrator
Taco Tuesday and TakeOut Tuesday and Cinco de Mayo all in one! Its time to order out! pic.twitter.com/j9ImKC3x5t
— Isabel C Guzman (@IsabelCGuzman) May 6, 2020
Isabel Guzman has been the director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate since 2019. She’s the former deputy chief of staff at the SBA during Barack Obama’s administration and will replace Jovita Carranza as administrator. Guzman comes from four generations of Texans who originally fled the Mexican Revolution from Aguascalientes and Jalisco. She is also reportedly of Jewish, German and Chinese descent. “We have to build our economy back better from this pandemic. Small businesses and their employees will be core to our recovery and I will work around the clock to help them re-open and thrive,” she tweeted after the nomination was announced.
Xavier Becerra – Health and Human Services
A bipartisan coalition of AGs is urging @HHSGov to hold drug manufactures that refuse to provide discounts to heath providers that serve low-income and uninsured Americans accountable.
Discounts afforded under the 340B Drug Pricing Program are more critical now than ever. pic.twitter.com/xFeZu0JxvU
— Attorney General Becerra (@AGBecerra) December 14, 2020
Xavier Becerra served as a Representative for Downtown Los Angeles from 1993 to 2017 and has been Attorney General of California since then. The 62-year-old Mexican-American is the first Latino to hold that office, and while in Congress he was the first Latino to serve as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, where he worked on health care as a senior member of the health subcommittee. As a Congressman he helped pass the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) and defended it in the Supreme Court. If confirmed, he would be the first Latino to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
Alejandro Mayorkas – Homeland Security
I’m very proud of my identity, I’m very proud of my heritage, I’m very proud of my parents, and most of all I’m proud to be a United States citizen.
As Secretary of Homeland Security, I hope I can represent for others the opportunities that America provides to everyone. pic.twitter.com/Kej9Nt3ZTu
— Alejandro Mayorkas (@AliMayorkas) December 4, 2020
Alejandro Mayorkas was born in Cuba and raised in Los Angeles and previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. During the Obama administration, he served in the Department of Homeland Security, first as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and then as Deputy Secretary. He was confirmed on Feb. 2 becoming the first Latino, the first Cuban-American, and the first immigrant to ever lead the Department of Homeland Security.