WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Signaling a lack of faith in the incoming administration and the new Commander in Chief, the state department’s entire senior management team has resigned.
After having secured the nomination of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Trump team had next set its sights on replacing Patrick Kennedy, the department’s long-serving undersecretary for management, according to The Washington Post.
On Wednesday, Kennedy and three of his top officials; Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith all unexpectedly resigned.
Whether Kennedy left on his own volition or was pushed out by the incoming Trump team is a matter of dispute inside the department, according to the Post.
All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
But they weren’t the only ones to go. Several senior foreign service officers in the State Department’s regional bureaus have also left their posts or resigned since the election.
The suddent resignations, especially at the top, will create a problem for Tillerson as he takes over the department.
“The emptying of leadership in the management bureaus is more disruptive because those offices need to be led by people who know the department and have experience running its complicated bureaucracies. There’s no easy way to replace that via the private sector,” said David Wade, who served as State Department chief of staff under Secretary of State John Kerry, told the Post.
In addition to finding experienced, and qualified, candidates to fill the department’s vital positions left vacant by the resignations, Tillerson will also have reach out to the department’s workforce which is panicked about what the Trump administration means for them.