Friends of Truman Named to Key National Security Appointments

Dear Friends of Truman,

Today the President-elect announced several key appointments to Cabinet positions, and I’m delighted to see several longtime friends of Truman among them. They are well-equipped to address the national security challenges we face and to rebuild our alliances around the world.

President-elect Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, Tony Blinken, spoke about foreign policy and the 2020 election at last year’s Truman Conference. A former Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy National Security Advisor in the Obama Administration, he understands the urgency of re-establishing our alliances and our commitment to multilateral organizations like the UN and NATO. He is committed to rebuilding the State Department, which the Trump Administration has treated with a neglect bordering on contempt.

Jake Sullivan, the President-elect’s choice for National Security Advisor, is a member of Truman’s boards of directors. He has been one of the President-elect’s closest foreign policy advisors, and during the Obama Administration he served as the director of policy planning, the top strategy job in the Department. Last month at TruCon2020, I spoke to him about the connections between domestic policy priorities and national security. As a board member, he’s been an important partner in developing the strategy and direction of the organization.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has been tapped by President-elect Biden to be the Permanent Representative to the United Nations. A former Assistant Secretary for African Affairs in the Obama Administration, she has mentored and taught tradecraft to legions of diplomats, myself included. Since joining Truman, she’s offered sage guidance, especially as we think about bringing diverse talent into public service. She has held senior positions at the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, and at the US Mission to the UN in Geneva, making her well-placed to rebuild our leadership at the UN.

These are among the first friends of Truman who will take on senior positions, but they will not be the last. In the coming days, we may yet hear that Michèle Flournoy will be nominated for Secretary of Defense. Michèle presented LTC (Ret.) Alexander Vindman with Truman’s first award for exceptional moral courage in public service at TruCon20 in October. A member of Truman’s board of advisors, she is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, and the co-founder of the Center for a New American Security. She would be the first woman to serve as Defense Secretary.

These choices reveal that President-elect Biden intends to follow through on his campaign promise to restore American leadership in the world and that this important work will be led by respected, diverse, and thoughtful leaders of deep experience and humanity. All of these leaders also have something else important in common: they’re longtime supporters of Truman. We look forward to advancing a positive agenda and working with these friends and mentors as they are confirmed and move into these vital roles.

In advance of this most unusual Thanksgiving Holiday and the unique challenges it presents, I am grateful for the steady hands that will soon guide our nation as we rebuild. I hope you, too, are energized by the promise and potential of what’s to come, even as we are reminded of the work ahead.

With best wishes for your health and safety,

Jenna Ben-Yehuda
President and CEO