US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday formally appointed Nigerian-born Adewale Adeyemo as the Deputy Treasury Secretary.
Biden also tapped ex-Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen to lead the Treasury.
AFP reports that Adeyemo, a former deputy national security advisor and current president of the Obama Foundation non-profit, would be the first African-American in that role.
If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen, 74, will be the first female Treasury head in its history, and likely be tasked with breaking the deadlock over aid in Washington, should lawmakers not come to an agreement before Biden’s January inauguration.
“We face great challenges as a country right now. To recover, we must restore the American dream — a society where each person can rise to their potential and dream even bigger for their children,” Yellen tweeted.
“As Treasury Secretary, I will work every day towards rebuilding that dream for all.”
Other officials announced on Monday include veterans of former president Barack Obama’s administration, several of which the Biden transition team noted would break racial barriers in their positions.
“As we get to work to control the virus, this is the team that will deliver immediate economic relief for the American people during this economic crisis and help us build our economy back better than ever,” Biden said in a statement.
Biden’s other nominations include Neera Tanden, president of liberal think tank Center for American Progress, as head the Office of Management and Budget. If confirmed, she would be its first South Asian head.
Also tapped was Dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs Cecilia Rouse as chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, the first African American in that post.
Adeyemo graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s of arts, before moving to Yale Law School, where he bagged his Juris Doctor for further studies in specialised law.
While at Yale, he was the co-director, project on law and education for the university.
Before his appointment as the President of Obama Foundation, Adeyemo was the deputy chief of staff at the department of the treasury, a position he held for three years.
He has served in various positions at treasury, including senior advisor to the chief of staff and deputy executive secretary.
Adeyemo also worked as the chief of staff at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2010 to 2011.
He was an editor for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution from 2008 to 2009.