Designated Survivor: When Your Only Job is to Survive


Misha Ankudovych, Editor-In-Chief

The State of the Union is the largest gathering of government officials in the United States. Both houses of Congress, as well as the President, Vice-President and their cabinet fills the chamber of the House. They are also joined by the entire Supreme Court and the Joint Chiefs. It is untypical for this many high ranking government officials to convene for security reasons, so there are some special precautions taken. 

Starting during the Cold War, a ‘designated survivor’ was determined. This was a member of the President’s cabinet that will be at an undisclosed location during the State of the Union to ensure that there is someone to lead the government if disaster struck, debilitating all that attended the address. This cabinet official watches the state of the union remotely, and would be inaugurated as president of the United States if everyone in attendance was unable. 

This year, commerce secretary Gina Raimondo is filling the role of designated survivor. While in office, Raimondo has been tasked with directly confronting global supply issues and making the United States more competitive economically with China. 

Luckily, Secretary Raimondo was not required to step in and become the leader of the United States, however, if you are interested in what a scenario like this would look like, you should check out the series “Designated Survivor” on Netflix!