New York City plays a prominent role in the new Biden Administration, with several top positions being filled by men and women born and raised in NYC and educated in NYC high schools, universities and law schools.
Brooklyn-born Chuck Schumer is the new Senate Majority leader – and the first from New York and also the first Jewish Majority leader – which makes him one of the most powerful positions in the US government. Schumer was Minority Leader when the GOP controlled the Senate.
The Majority leader determines what laws are voted on in the Senate, and plays a major role in any pressidential impeachment trial.
Schumer also can steer millions of dollars in government programs and money to NYC and New York State, such as for education and public transportation, including the vital Gateway Project, to construct another rail tunnel under the Hudson River to transport passengers and goods through the Northeast and beyond.
Schumer’s predecessor, Mitch McConnell, who becomes minority leader with the switch in power from GOP to Democratic party majority, claimed that he brought $1 billion to Kentucky, for everything from a veterans hospital in Louisville to a “forage animal production lab” devoted to horses and cattle at the University of Kentucky, according to the NY Times.
Schumer was a nine-term congressman when he defeated Senator Alphonse D’Amato, who was running for a fourth term, in 1998.
Dr. Anthony Fauci
Widely regarded as the nation’s top infectious disease expert, he has been one of the most trusted voices – and faces – of the country’s Covid-19 pandemic response.
Dr. Fauci has been director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, serving presidents of both parties. In addition to staying in that job, he also becomes a chief medical adviser to President Biden.
Dr. Fauci grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, in the apartment above the family pharmacy. As a boy, he delivered prescriptions for his parents’ pharmacy, and he was captain of the basketball team at Regis High, an elite Jesuit school in Manhattan.
Read more about Dr. Fauci, including his ongoing love of baseball, which began when NYC had three hometown teams, the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and New York Yankees, in this NY Times profile.
If confirmed by the Senate, Brooklyn-born Ms. Yellen would become the first female Secretary of the Treasury, shepherding the battered US economy through one of the worst periods since the Depression a century ago, as the pandemic continues to devastate many parts of the economy.
Previously, as the chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, her policies laid the groundwork for a strong labor market and a record-long expansion that drove unemployment to its lowest rate in 50 years before the pandemic turned the world upside down – and which she will now have to fix once again.
Ms. Yellen grew up in Bay Ridge, and was the valedictorian at Fort Hamilton High School, where she wrote in the school newspaper that her hobbies included “attending Off Broadway theater, eating, riding the 69 St. Ferry, exploring New York City, and reading philosophy so that I can write unpopular essays.”
Avril D. Haines
She has been the top lawyer for the National Security Council and was deputy director of the CIA in the Obama administration, serving under director John Brennan.
Anthony J. Blinken
Mr. Blinken, the president-elect’s pick for Secretary of State, grew up on the Upper East Side and attended the Dalton School, a Manhattan private school, before moving to France.
He earned his law degree from Columbia Law School and practiced law in New York.
Previously, he served as deputy secretary of state and principal national security adviser in the Obama adminsitration, where he worked closely with then-Vice President Joe Biden.
Blinken would not be the first New Yorker to be Secretary of State. New Yorkers Hilary Clinton, Madelaine Albright and Henry Kissinger preceded him in that important position.
Mr. Biden named Ms. Criswell, the commissioner of NYC’s Emergency Management Department, to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In recent years, FEMA has grappled with the coronavirus, wildfires, hurricanes and the devastating effects of climate change both on the US mainland and in Puerto Rico.
She has been NYC’s Transportaton Commissioner, which included overseeing implementing the Mayor’s “Vision Zero” traffic safety program, along with expansion of bicycling lanes.
She resigned from her post in December 2019, reportedly to prepare to run for mayor in the November 2011 election.
She is to serve with Mr. Biden’s choice for Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttegieg.
Let’s also include Brooklyn-born Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, the first female VP, he is the first male “second spouse”. He loved music enough to name his children Cole and Ella, after fellow New Yorkers and music legends Cole Porter and Ella Fitzgerald.
Emhoff went to college in California and became a leading entertainment lawyer. A client fixed him up on a blind date with the state’s Attorney-General. They were married in a ceremony combining his Jewish faith and traditional Hindu elements.
Vice- President Harris’ step-children call her “Mamala”, which is both a play on her name, Kamala, and an affectionate Yiddish term that translates as “little mother” or “dear mother”.
My mother called my son – her grandson – “bubala”, or dear little boy. And my kids called her Omala – the German word for Grandma is Oma, and she was a dear little grandma.
NYCOTC Editor Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
Purchase autographed copies by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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