The entire senior top level management officials resigned Wednesday from the State Department. It appears the mass resignation were a sign they no longer want to work in that office under New Secretary of State Rex Tillerman, or within the Trump Administration.
While Tillerman was getting his bearings, others will heading for the door. Patrick Kennedy, a long-serving undersecretary for management. who has been in that job for nine years, was actively involved in the transition and was angling to keep that job under Tillerson, according to department officials familiar with Kennedy.
Besides Kennedy, three others handed in their resignations. 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 Kennedy out the door. All of them are career Foreign Service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Ambassador Richard Boucher, had who has served under Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, said they is always a lot of turnaround when a new administration took over, but that is not what happened here. Usually senior officials will stay a while to work with the new team.
“The career Foreign Service officers are crucial to those functions as well as to implementing the new president’s agenda, whatever it may be,” Boucher told the Washington Post.
Presumably referring to the president, Boucher said “You don’t run foreign policy by making statements, you run it with thousands of people working to implement programs every day,” Boucher said. “To undercut that is to undercut the institution.”
Tillerson’s job just became more difficult because his priority now will be to find qualified and experienced career officials to fill the State Department’s vital services. Secondly, he must reassure those who haven’t panicked and left about what the Trump Administration means for them.