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Biden-Harris team appoints more African Americans to influential positions

Monday, Nov. 30, was a big day for African Americans and national politics.
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris announced members of its initial senior leadership team who will lead their Presidential Inaugural Committee. The committee is tasked with organizing activities surrounding the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, 2021. Two of the members are African American; Tony Allen, Ph.D., who will serve as CEO, and Erin Wilson, who will serve as Deputy Executive Director.

Also on Nov. 30, the Biden/Harris team announced the nominations of Wally Adeyemo for Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, and Cecilia Rouse as Chair, Council of Economic Advisers. Both are historic nominations. If confirmed, Adeyemo would become the first African American in the position. And Rouse would become the first woman of color in the position if she’s confirmed. The Senate is tasked with confirming both nominations.

Tony Allen, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Presidential Inaugural Committee
Dr. Allen is the President of Delaware State University, one of the nation’s premier public Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Before being appointed president, Dr. Allen served as Executive Vice President and Provost at DSU and previously led Bank of America’s corporate reputation group. He is also the Founding President of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and co-founder of Public Allies Delaware. In the ‘90s, Dr. Allen worked in then-Senator Biden’s office as a Special Assistant and Speechwriter.

Erin Wilson, Deputy Executive Director of Presidential Inaugural Committee
Wilson served as the Biden/Harris campaign’s National Political Director throughout the primary and general elections, the senior staff member responsible for relationships with hundreds of elected officials and leaders across the country. Previously, Wilson was a senior aide in Pa. Senator Bob Casey’s office, most recently serving as his State Director and Senior Advisor to his 2018 re-election. She is also a Hillary for America and Democratic National Committee alumna.

Wally Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury
Adeyemo is a Chicago resident, and currently the president of the Obama Foundation. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, during Barack Obama’s tenure as president, he was the deputy director of the National Economic Council; the assistant secretary for international markets and development at the Treasury Department; deputy chief of staff of the Treasury Department in 2012; and chief of staff of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for about a year and a half beginning in 2010.

Cecilia Rouse, Chairperson, Council of Economic Advisers
Rouse currently is dean of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. According to Yahoo! News, earlier this year, she spearheaded a letter signed by dozens of economists arguing for more action to stem the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a feature by the American Economic Association, Rouse said that one of the benefits of becoming an economist is the versatility it provides in terms of issues to be studied as well as careers. Rouse wanted young people to know that economists are not only concerned with business and the stock market but also people, education, health, crime, poverty, and other such issues. Moreover, they can pursue careers in academics, the private sector, or the public sector, and can focus on research, analysis, or policy.

Symone Sanders, Official Spokesperson, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris
Sanders, the unabashed former national press secretary for then-Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders who then worked on the Biden campaign, will now serve as spokesperson for Vice President-elect Harris. The Creighton University graduate, who has spoken at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in the past, said about the announcement on Twitter: “Ready to serve describes accurately how I feel. Thank you Madam Vice President-elect for entrusting me with this charge. It has been the honor of my life to work for Joe Biden and I am elated to have the opportunity to continue that work in the PEOPLE’S HOUSE.”

Appeared first in New Pittsburgh Courier

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