President-elect Joe Biden listens as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks Tuesday in Delaware.

President-elect Joe Biden listens as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks Tuesday in Delaware. Carolyn Kaster/AP

Biden’s Transition Team Brings in Diverse Coalition of Experts, at Least Half of Whom Are Women

The members of Biden’s agency review teams represent communities “historically underrepresented in federal government.”

President-elect Joe Biden announced members of his ”agency review teams” Tuesday, putting Biden’s commitments to a diverse administration in action for the first time. 

Of the 500 members, more than half are women and, according to a press release from the Biden camp, around “40 percent represent communities historically underrepresented in the federal government, including people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.” 

The agency review teams are composed of professionals with backgrounds in different policy areas who help ensure a smooth transfer of power between presidential administrations. 

One member of note is Shawn Skelly, who, when she joined the Obama administration in 2013, became the first transgender veteran to be appointed by a president. She is a co-founder of Out In National Security, a group of national security professionals who speak out in defense of LGBTQ+ rights. Skelly is a member of the Department of Defense team. 

Both Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris mentioned marginalized communities in their addresses to the nation last Saturday. 

Harris, the first woman of color to be vice president-elect, paid special attention to women in her speech. She mentioned the generations of women, particularly women of color, who came before her and fought to secure the right to vote through both the 19th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act. 

“Tonight, I reflect on their struggle, their determination and the strength of their vision — to see what can be unburdened by what has been — I stand on their shoulders,” Harris said. 

Biden thanked gay, transgender, Latino, Asian, Native and Black Americans for helping him get elected. He is the first president-elect in history to mention the transgender community in a victory address. 

“I said from the outset I wanted a campaign that represented America, and I think we did that,” Biden said in his speech. “Now, that’s what I want the administration to look like.” 

Originally published by The 19th