Published: December 8, 2020
Joe Biden has nominated neither CFR member Michele Flournoy nor CFR member Jeh Johnson as Secretary of Defense. Did the CFR lose out on such a key position? Of course not: Biden has instead nominated CFR member Lloyd Austin, a retired general, former CENTCOM commander and current Raytheon board member. Defense contractor Raytheon in turn is a CFR corporate member.
The key positions in the Biden cabinet have thus been filled with CFR member Lloyd Austin (Defense), CFR member Anthony Blinken (State), CFR member Janet Yellen (Treasury), CFR member Alejandro Mayorkas (Homeland Security), CFR member Linda Thomas-Greenfield (Ambassador to the UN), CFR member John Kerry (Special Envoy for Climate), and CFR member Cecilia Rouse (Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors), plus 43-year-old National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, a member of the Carnegie Endowment and the Marshall Fund (both run by CFR members).
The CIA Director and the US Trade Representative – the two other posts typically (i.e., before Trump) occupied by members of the Council on Foreign Relations – have yet to be announced.
Meanwhile, current US President Donald Trump fired almost all members of the high-level Pentagon Defense Policy Board, including former CFR director Henry Kissinger, former CFR director Madeleine Albright, CFR member and retired Admiral Gary Roughead, CFR member and former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman, CFR member and former Treasury Department undersecretary David McCormick, CFR member and former deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, and CFR member and former top defense official Franklin Miller.