Secretary of state expected to be among the first positions Biden fills with Blinken as leading contender


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The leading contender for the top diplomatic post is Antony Blinken, multiple people familiar with the matter told CNN, a choice that would elevate a longtime foreign policy adviser into one of the most visible positions in the Cabinet.

Blinken served in the Obama administration as deputy secretary of state and principal deputy national security adviser. He also served as national security adviser to Biden when he was vice president.

A transition official told CNN on Sunday night that Blinken is seen as the leading contender, but offered the typical caveats that the announcement isn’t official until Biden reveals it Tuesday.

Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and former UN ambassador and national security adviser Susan Rice are among the other contenders for the post.

Former Obama administration official Jake Sullivan is the leading contender to be national security adviser.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is the leading contender for the position of ambassador to the United Nations, sources familiar with the matter told CNN, which is also expected to be announced Tuesday.

Thomas-Greenfield, an African-American woman with a lengthy career in foreign service, previously served as assistant secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs. The selection of Thomas-Greenfield would help Biden honor his pledge to build a diverse administration.

Axios first reported the possibility of Thomas-Greenfield being nominated.

The transition team has also already assigned advisers — known as sherpas — to help guide their nominated Cabinet members for the confirmation process, one source said.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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