U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is trimming State Department staff, with an eye on positions added under former President Barack Obama.Tillerson to abolish most special envoys, including climate
Of the 38 positions created under the former administration, 23 will be either removed or reassigned, a senior Trump administration official told Fox News on Tuesday. The staffers whose positions will be eliminated are those who worked on projects such as closing Guantanamo Bay, implementing the Iran Deal and the transparency coordinator position created in response to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
The reorganization is broader than just those 38 staffers. A senior State Department official said Tillerson informed Congress on Monday of his plans to eliminate and reorganize his staff of special envoys and special representatives. Of the 66 titles discussed with lawmakers, only 30 envoys and representatives with title will remain on board. Twenty-one other staffers will be integrated into other bureaus, while nine will be eliminated entirely. The remaining spots will be “folded into existing positions” or transferred to USAID.
Lawmakers of both parties, think tanks and even the diplomats’ association have long called for absorbing some of the countless U.S. envoys and special representatives into related offices, to help reduce redundancies across the State Department’s notoriously unwieldy bureaucracy. But the idea has attracted new scrutiny amid the Trump administration’s plans to drastically cut the State Department’s budget and concerns that Trump was eschewing the promotion of American values overseas.Relevant quotations:
While State Department officials stressed that changes to the flow chart don’t necessarily signal a change in priorities, in some cases the policy implications are clear. Elimination of the Guantanamo closure envoy dovetails with Trump’s plans to keep the prison open. The president has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris global climate deal and threatened to do the same with the Iran nuclear deal.
"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program" - Milton Friedman
"Personnel is Policy" - Unnamed bureaucrat