Veteran diplomat Antony Blinken is Biden's top choice for secretary of state

WILMINGTON, Del. — Veteran diplomat and longtime Biden foreign policy adviser Antony Blinken is President-elect Joe Biden’s top choice to serve as secretary of state, multiple sources told NBC News.

A transition official said Blinken is the most likely candidate for the position but couldn’t confirm the nomination until Biden’s announcement.

Blinken’s top government roles include having served as deputy national security adviser from 2013 to 2015 during the Obama administration and as deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017.

NBC News previously reported that Blinken was a favorite for secretary of state.

On Monday, multiple sources familiar with the plans told NBC News that Biden is expected to nominate Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Sullivan served in the Obama administration as national security adviser to then-Vice President Biden before serving as director of policy planning at the State Department and as deputy chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Thomas-Greenfield served as the assistant secretary of state for Africa from 2013 to 2017 under former President Barack Obama.

A source familiar with transition planning said Biden’s first Cabinet selections will be in the areas of diplomacy and national security. Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday that Biden will begin announcing his Cabinet picks Tuesday.

Geoff Bennett and Amanda Golden reported from Wilmington and Carol E. Lee from Washington.

Allan Smith contributed.