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January 26, 2017 11:22 AM UTC

BREAKING: Mass Resignations in State Department

  • 8 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job just got much, much more difficult.

Breaking news from the Washington Post:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s job running the State Department just got considerably more difficult. The entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday, part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior foreign service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.

Tillerson was actually inside the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom on Wednesday, taking meetings and getting the lay of the land. I reported Wednesday morning that the Trump team was narrowing its search for his No. 2, and that it was looking to replace the State Department’s long-serving undersecretary for management, Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy, who has been in that job for nine years, was actively involved in the transition and was angling to keep that job under Tillerson, three State Department officials told me.

Then suddenly on Wednesday afternoon, Kennedy and three of his top officials resigned unexpectedly, four State Department officials confirmed. Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions, followed him out the door. All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations…

…In addition, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Gregory Starr retired Jan. 20, and the director of the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations, Lydia Muniz, departed the same day. That amounts to a near-complete housecleaning of all the senior officials that deal with managing the State Department, its overseas posts and its people.

“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” said David Wade, who served as State Department chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry. [Pols emphasis] “Department expertise in security, management, administrative and consular positions in particular are very difficult to replicate and particularly difficult to find in the private sector.”

We’ll keep you updated on this story as it develops.

Comments

8 thoughts on “BREAKING: Mass Resignations in State Department

  1. Wrong. They were fired. http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/politics/top-state-department-officials-asked-to-leave-by-trump-administration/index.html

    Two senior administration officials said Thursday that the Trump administration told four top State Department management officials that their services were no longer needed as part of an effort to "clean house" at Foggy Bottom.

    Patrick Kennedy, who served for nine years as the undersecretary for management, Assistant Secretaries for Administration and Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Joyce Anne Barr, and Ambassador Gentry Smith, director of the Office for Foreign Missions, were sent letters by the White House that their service was no longer required, the sources told CNN.

  2. Rex doesn't want or need these professionals messing with his plans to drill the Arctic ocean. There are plenty of qualified diplomats in the oil industry…I am sure he will find some qualified help.

  3. Wonder how much payroll was saved? Hopefully this trend will continue across all departments. Hello to opportunities for hard working civil servants to move up with the exit of Kerry/Obama clowns. 

    1. Another poorly researched comment from Passionate Prune. Probably not much savings in payroll as these retirees will get paid for unused vacation time, and maybe unused sick time. And how do you know these retirees or resigners are all from the Obama era? Many career civil servants have probably been in the Department since the Reagan years, the time of G.H.W. Bush. 

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