Joe Biden announces top foreign policy and national security picks

Alejandro Mayorkas has been nominated to be Biden’s secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and would be the first Latino to head the agency. Mayorkas, a former deputy secretary at DHS, will be tasked with rebuilding the department that the Trump administration used to enforce its draconian border policy, including family separation at the US-Mexico border.

Avril Haines, a former top CIA official and deputy national security adviser, has been nominated for director of national intelligence and would be the first woman to hold the powerful post.

Biden will tap former US Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy on climate. Kerry is a champion of the Paris climate agreement, which Trump formally withdrew from. Kerry was Biden’s pick to co-chair a “unity task force” on climate change with allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders after the Democratic presidential primary.

The transition team also confirmed in a release CNN’s previous reporting that Biden will pick Antony Blinken to be secretary of state, Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be ambassador to the United Nations and Jake Sullivan as national security adviser.

Blinken, Biden’s top foreign policy aide, previously served in a deputy role during the Obama administration. Sullivan is another veteran foreign policy hand, and Thomas-Greenfield is a career diplomat with deep experience in the foreign service.

“These individuals are equally as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative. Their accomplishments in diplomacy are unmatched, but they also reflect the idea that we cannot meet the profound challenges of this new moment with old thinking and unchanged habits — or without diversity of background and perspective,” Biden said in a statement.

This story is breaking and will be updated.