Will President Obama’s inner circle of advisors be largely white and male for a second term? And what does that mean for global cultural competence and understanding the issues facing women and racial/ethnic/religious minorities that impact our nation’s security?
- Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic nominee for president, is the leading candidate for Secretary of State. Kerry would be the first white man to serve as Secretary of State since 1997.
- Former Senator Chuck Hagel, a white man from Nebraska, has been nominated for Secretary of Defense. He would replace Leon Panetta, who is also a white man.
- John Brennan, Deputy National Security Advisor and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, has been nominated to succeed General David Petraeus as Director of the CIA. Petraeus and Brennan are both white men.
- Five other senior members of the team, all white men—Tom Donilon, National Security Adviser; General Keith Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency; General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence; and Matthew Olson, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center—are expected to remain in their positions.
- Robert Mueller, Director of the FBI, will be replaced, but no finalists for the job have surfaced.
That leaves only two members of the team who are not white men: