By Lance Arevada

PHOTO: Adam Schultz/Al Drago/Bloomberg

US President Joe biden has assigned Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff to lead the seven-member delegation of the United States to attend the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on June 30, the White House has announced.

As the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, who is the first female VP, Emhoff marked history as the first second gentleman of the United States.

According to the White House website, the Second Gentleman is “working to share the priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration with people across the country and around the world.”

US Embassy in Manila Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava will be joining Emhoff to attend the inauguration. She has previously met with Marcos Jr. following his victory in the 2022 elections.

Furthermore, Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott, who is a Filipino-American, is also expected to be among those in attendance from the Washington delegation. He is currently the chairperson of the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Along with Emhoff, the following officials have also  been announced as members of the US delegation for the inauguration:

- Deputy Director Nani A. Coloretti, Office of Management and Budget

- Retired Admiral James “Sandy” A. Winnefeld Jr., Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 

- Hon. Edgard D. Kagan, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for East Asia and Oceania, National Security Council 

- Hon. Chantale Y. Wong, U.S. Director of the Asian Development Bank

Biden was among world leaders who called and congratulated Marcos Jr. for his landslide win in the 2022 elections. In a release by the White House, the US president said that he is looking forward to strengthening its aliance with the Philippines under the new administration.