Biden tapped former Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., to lead the early transition team efforts. Kaufman was appointed to fill out Biden’s senate seat when he became vice president and also led Biden’s transition team in 2008 and 2009.
Kauffman said they are in “very early stages of pre-transition planning” to ensure a Biden Administration is prepared to immediately tackle the many challenges facing America right now.
“The next president will confront an ongoing global health pandemic and inherit an economy in its worst shape since the Great Depression,” Kaufman said in a statement. “No one will have taken office facing such daunting obstacles since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Joe Biden is prepared to meet these urgent challenges on the day he is sworn in as president, and begin the hard work of addressing the public health crisis and rebuilding an economy that puts working families first.”
Kauffman announced that a half dozen staff, including Obama Administration and Capitol Hill veterans, will join the early transition effort.
Yohannes Abraham, a longtime senior White House staffer in the Obama administration and former COO of the Obama Foundation, will manage day-to-day operations. Avril Haines, former principal deputy national security advisor and deputy director of the CIA, will manage the transition’s national security and foreign policy efforts.
Other staffers will include Gautam Raghavan, chief of staff to Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.; Angela Ramirez, chief of staff to Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico; Evan Ryan, a senior advisor to Biden during the Obama administration, and Julie Siegel, who worked for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., as senior counsel for economic policy.
Biden’s team said the timing of the transition staffing is in keeping with the Edward “Ted” Kaufman and Michael Leavitt Presidential Transitions Improvement Act of 2015 that requires initial transition work to begin six months before an election.
“In that spirit, and to ensure continuity of government during such a critical moment for our country, we have begun the very early stages of pre-transition planning,” said Kaufman, the namesake for the legislation.