By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

President-Elect Joe Biden has continued to maintain a campaign promise, even exceeding his pledge for a diverse staff and cabinet. Shortly after naming a Black man to lead the Department of Defense and a Black woman to serve as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Biden said he’s appointing former U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, a Black woman, to serve as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. 

“With years of experience working at senior levels in the executive branch, Ambassador Rice knows government inside and out and will carry through the President-elect’s vision of a newly empowered Domestic Policy Council and turbocharge the effort to build back better,’ the Biden transition team wrote in a news release. 

The team noted that Rice is among the nation’s most senior and experienced government leaders with the skills to harness the power of the federal government to serve the American people. 

As a former member of the Cabinet, they said she also understands the challenges and opportunities of running an agency and has extensive experience working with other key members of the Biden-Harris White House team, including the heads of NSC and NEC. 

Ambassador Rice’s appointment comes as Biden announced key members of his administration, including Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture; Congresswoman Marcia Fudge for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Denis McDonough as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Katherine Tai, as United States Trade Representative.

The diverse and accomplished team will work around the clock to deliver immediate relief to the American people — including working families, veterans, farmers and producers, and everyone fighting for their place in the middle class, the transition team promised in the release.

As the nation emerges from the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath, Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris expressed that the team will “bring the highest level of expertise and the bold vision necessary to help all Americans seize new opportunities and build back better.”

“This dedicated and distinguished group of public servants will bring the highest level of experience, compassion, and integrity to bear, solving problems and expanding possibilities for the American people in the face of steep challenges,” Biden stated.

“The roles they will take on are where the rubber meets the road — where competent and crisis-tested governance can make a meaningful difference in people’s lives, enhancing the dignity, equity, security, and prosperity of the day-to-day lives of Americans. 

“This is the right team for this moment in history, and I know that each of these leaders will hit the ground running on day one to take on the interconnected crises families are facing today.”

Added Harris: “Over the past few weeks, President-elect Biden and I have announced members of our administration who will help contain this pandemic, responsibly open our economy, and keep our nation safe and secure. 

“The administration members we are announcing today will help us meet a range of other challenges — from helping make sure no American goes hungry to putting affordable housing within reach for all to caring for veterans and their families and advancing our ideals of opportunity and equality. These deeply experienced public servants reflect the best of our nation and will be ready to hit the ground running on day one to rebuild our country in a way that lifts up all Americans.”