Biden taps longtime adviser Antony Blinken as next secretary of state

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to announce Antony Blinken as his pick for secretary of state, Bloomberg News reported Sunday.

Blinken served in the State Department's number two role under former President Barack Obama as deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017. He previously served as Obama's deputy national security advisor and as national security adviser to former Vice President Biden.

Sources told Bloomberg, The New York Times, and other publications about Biden's plan to nominate Blinken, as the president-elect attempts to carry out the presidential transition without compliance from President Donald Trump's administration.

Trump has yet to concede the election, despite most of his legal challenges being dismissed in court.

Ron Klain, Biden's White House chief of staff, said a cabinet announcement would be made on Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.

Blinken first worked in the state department under former President Bill Clinton. He also served as Clinton's chief foreign policy speechwriter and was a member of the National Security Council staff from 1994 to 2001.

He later served as an aide to then-senator Biden on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, before joining Biden's 2008 presidential campaign.

Although he served in the Obama-Biden administration, Blinken has been willing to criticize their record in office. "The last administration has to acknowledge that we failed," he said regarding Obama's Syria policy in a May 2020 interview with CBS. "We failed to prevent a horrific loss of life.... And it's something that I will take with me for the rest of my days."

After leaving the Obama White house in 2017, Blinken formed a consulting firm with another former Obama administration official, Michèle Flournoy. Their firm, WestExec Advisors, advises corporations on political and security issues.

Blinken is expected to focus on rebuilding relationships with foreign allies that were strained during the Trump years, reportedly by rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization, according to The New York Times.

Biden also plans to name Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations, The Washington Post reported. Thomas-Greenfield served as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs during the Obama administration. The appointment would place a Black woman in a top diplomatic role, conforming with Biden's pledge to build a diverse administration.

Bloomberg also reported that Biden is expected to name Jake Sullivan as national security adviser. Sullivan was a close aide to Hillary Clinton.