Joe Biden has selected Pete Buttigieg for a top role in his new administration.

The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who was Biden’s former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, has been picked as the United States Secretary of Transportation.

The historic move means Buttigieg will become America’s first ever openly gay Cabinet secretary.

In a statement, the US president elect hailed Buttigieg as a “patriot and a problem-solver who speaks to the best of who we are as a nation”.

“I am nominating him for secretary of transportation because this position stands at the nexus of so many of the interlocking challenges and opportunities ahead of us,” he continued.

“Jobs, infrastructure, equity, and climate all come together at the DOT, the site of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better.”

Buttigieg previously made history as the first openly gay presidential candidate when he narrowly won the Iowa caucuses and placed second in the New Hampshire primary.

He dropped out of the race on 1 March and endorsed Biden the following day.

“This is a moment of tremendous opportunity—to create jobs, meet the climate challenge, and enhance equity for all,” he wrote on Twitter after the announcement.

“I’m honored that the President-elect has asked me to serve our nation as Secretary of Transportation. Innovation in transportation helped build my hometown, and it propels our country.

“Now is the time to build back better through modern and sustainable infrastructure that creates millions of good-paying union jobs, revitalizes communities, and empowers all Americans to thrive.”

The Human Rights Campaign praised Biden for nominating Buttigieg, saying he was “open and honest” about his identity in his presidential campaign, and gave the LGBTQ+ community a voice.

“His voice as a champion for the LGBTQ community in the Cabinet room will help President-elect Biden build back our nation better, stronger and more equal than before,” said HRC president Alphonso David.


Biden has also recruited former Obama adviser Tony Blinken as his Secretary of State, retired Army Gen Lloyd Austin as his Secretary of Defence and former Fed chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary.

Tom Vilsack, former Agriculture Secretary, will also reprise his role in the Biden administration, with Ohio representative Marcia Fudge as Housing Secretary.

Biden also intends to choose former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm as his Energy Secretary, and Gina McCarthy, former Environmental Protection Agency Chief, for the position of Domestic Climate Chief.

Earlier this week, the Electoral College finally confirmed Biden as America’s next president.

Donald Trump is still mounting unsuccessful legal challenges to the results, and has ordered his administration to not cooperate in the presidential transition.