President-elect Joe Biden will nominate former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg to lead the Transportation Department and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to lead the Department of Energy, multiple sources confirm to NBC News.
There has long been speculation that Buttigieg, 38, would join the Biden administration. Buttigieg, Biden’s onetime political rival, ended his presidential bid just before the pivotal Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses in early March and immediately endorsed Biden.
Buttigieg had performed strongly in the first two contests, which took place in Iowa and New Hampshire.
He would lead an agency that will be key in carrying out Biden’s efforts to revitalize U.S. infrastructure — an area in which the Biden administration may find common ground with Republicans.
Biden to select Buttigieg for transportation secretary
Buttigieg focused his campaign on passing the torch to leaders of a younger generation. He is the only presidential rival whom Biden has selected for a Cabinet position so far after having named Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as his running mate.
Buttigieg was the first openly gay major-party candidate to win delegates in a presidential primary, and he would be the first openly gay Cabinet secretary to be confirmed by the Senate. President Donald Trump‘s former acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, was the first openly gay leader of a Cabinet-level agency.
Biden has faced pressure from activists and progressive lawmakers to diversify his administration. Buttigieg would be his first openly gay Cabinet pick, although he has also chosen several other openly LGBTQ men and women to join his White House team.
Granholm’s elevation is a sign that the Energy Department will have a leading role in Biden’s plan to combat climate change. A transition official told NBC News that she has been an outspoken advocate on combating climate change and environmental policy.
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