Vice President Elect Kamala Harris will become the highest ranked woman leader in American history, when she takes the oath as Vice President on January 20, 2021.
She will be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, and right behind her in the line of succession will be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
And if President Elect Joe Biden decides to choose a woman to be Secretary of State, then three of the top four in the line of succession will be women, with only the President Pro Tempore of the Senate being male, either Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa or Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, depending on what happens with the two Georgia Senate runoffs on January 5, 2021.
Already, we have had three women serving as Secretary of State—Madeleine Albright under Bill Clinton in his second term; Condoleezza Rice under George W. Bush in his second term; and Hillary Clinton under Barack Obama in his first term.
The bet is that former National Security Adviser and Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, who is African American, will be chosen by Joe Biden to be his Secretary of State, although Wendy Sherman, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, who is white, serving from 2011-2015 under Barack Obama, is also a possible choice, and certainly will be utilized in some way by Joe Biden.