Goodest Leader: January 2021

Joe Biden

Joseph R Biden, President of the United States of America

Following the eventful 2020 US Elections, newly elected President Joe Biden signed a number of executive orders that drastically altered the course previously taken by the Trump administration. The 25 executive orders will have implications on domestic policies (for example, tackling the COVID-19 situation by introducing a face mask mandate on federal premises, a commitment to following scientific advice when policies are formulated, extending the repayment terms of student loans, and halting eviction notices pending further progress in the public health crisis).

Biden also reversed the ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, and revoked President Trump’s 2017 so-called “Muslim Ban”, an executive order which restricted entry to arrivals from a number of Muslim-majority countries. President Biden also enacted several policies to tackle the issues of family reunification, improving the US-Mexico border cooperation, and providing a more comprehensive approach to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Presdent Biden’s executive orders included a number of important foreign policy moves. In 2017 Trump had withdrawn the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, significantly decreasing America’s financial contribution to the global fight against climate change. President Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement hours after taking office, and halted the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the United States, a project presenting significant risks of environmental and cultural damage.

These decisions, taken within days of entering the Oval Office, signal a clear commitment on President Biden’s part to upholding the Dual Mandate: to harmonise his domestic and international responsibilities to the best of his ability. This approach represents the diametric opposite of his predecessor, Donald Trump, whose presidency was characterised by indifference and occasionally overt hostility towards the needs and interests of the international community. President Trump, uniquely, has featured on three separate occasions as “Ungoodest Leader” on this page.