Wave Of State Department Personnel Resign, Are Fired As Tillerson Takes Control

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: according to a CNN report - so as always take with lots of salt - the story has shifted materially, because according to two senior administration officials, it wasn't a resignation by the State Department officials, but more of a termination: "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.


All four, career officers serving in positions appointed by the President, submitted letters of resignation per tradition at the beginning of a new administration. The letters from the White House said that their resignations were accepted and they were thanked for their service.


The White House usually asks career officials in such positions to stay on for a few months until their successors are confirmed.


"Any implication that that these four people quit is wrong," one senior State Department official said. "These people are loyal to the secretary, the President and to the State Department. There is just not any attempt here to dis the President. People are not quitting and running away in disgust. This is the White House cleaning house."


Mark Toner, the State Department's acting spokesman, said in a statement that "These positions are political appointments, and require the President to nominate and the Senate to confirm them in these roles. They are not career appointments but of limited term."

A second official echoed that the move appeared to be an effort by the new administration to "clean house" among the State Department's top leadership. "The department will not collapse," the second official said. "Everyone has good deputies. It's a huge institutional loss, but the department has excellent subordinates and the career people will step up. They will take up the responsibility."

Victoria Nuland, the State Department's assistant secretary for Europe, was also not asked to stay on.

The following org charts breaks out the unfilled appointee positions, in blue, while the red crosses show the resignations


* * *


Demonstrating just how ideologically alligned with the Obama administration was the entire US State Department, moments ago the WaPo reported that "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."

The mass resignation took place as Rex Tillerson was inside the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom on Wednesday, taking meetings and getting the lay of the land.

According to WaPo's Josh Rogin who suddenly has no more senior level sources left at State:

"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.

Additionally, "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. “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.”

There were more: several senior foreign service officers in the State Department’s regional bureaus have also left their posts or resigned since the election. But 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 Wade.

“Diplomatic security, consular affairs, there’s just not a corollary that exists outside the department, and you at least can afford a learning curve in these areas where issues can quickly become matters of life and death,” he said. “The muscle memory is critical. These retirements are a big loss. They leave a void. These are very difficult people to replace.”


Whether Kennedy left on his own volition or was pushed out by the incoming Trump team is a matter of dispute inside the department. Just days before he resigned, Kennedy was taking on more responsibility inside the department and working closely with the transition. His departure was a surprise to other State Department officials who were working with him.

Rogin's conclusion: "By itself, the sudden departure of the State Department’s entire senior management team is disruptive enough. But in the context of a president who railed against the U.S. foreign policy establishment during his campaign and secretary of state with no government experience, the vacancies are much more concerning."

On the other hand, if Tillerson wanted a real clean slate, he just got it.

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Takeaction2's picture
Takeaction2 (not verified) Jan 26, 2017 11:31 AM

Oh the day is starting out with a Big win again...thank you for draining the swamp for us...AWESOME.

froze25's picture

AWESOME, doesn't express my absolute pleasure in reading this Nearly enough!. This is a great day for the world! Now I wonder if we can find out what John Kerry was doing in Antarctica on Election Day.

mtl4's picture

Unelected policical scumbags can't leave fast enough..........drain that swamp asap!

froze25's picture

Resigned is code for "you're fired" at that level.

Dame Ednas Possum's picture

Mind the door on your way out. 



Ignatius's picture

"...the entire senior level of management officials resigned Wednesday..."

It's called "a good start."

Pinto Currency's picture

Well when the State dept has been approving shiping sarin gas to terrorists in Syria, they've now got a problem.


wildbad's picture


All are career foreign service officers who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations..

7th floor - Deep State Functionary Technocrats

Ghost of Porky's picture

Drain the swamp and the snakes slither away.

jbvtme's picture

does the country need a state department?

Save_America1st's picture

'ol Mr. T.  was dead wrong... 

we're never gonna get tired of all this winning. 

... bitchez ;-) 

Joe Davola's picture

On the downside, it's harder to compel private citizens to testify about Hillary's grift during her tenure.

BullyBearish's picture

Not done till Nudledick and her cronies are gone...but probably won't happen

Shocker's picture

This winning is great

Lets keep the winning going

Winning News - http://www.dailyjobfix.com


Keyser's picture

Samantha Power is likely out the door too as UN Ambassador before she gets the tap on the shoulder... Good riddance to all these scumbags at State... They have been the facilitators and protagonists for US actions around the world that have led to millions of deaths... A pox on their houses... 

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

I believe Haley Barbor (SC, gov) has already been confirmed by the Senate.  Power's been shown the door...Power?  Not so much.

jcaz's picture

"You can't fire us- we quit!!!"

Whatever, assholes.....

remain calm's picture

That a good start on decreasing the government size by 10%

remain calm's picture

Kerry is going to hire them making Ketchup

FreedomGuy's picture

Based on the history of the State Dept. they have a potentially bright future working for other countries they like more.

jeff montanye's picture

other countries they like more.  well said.  having dual citizenship always seems suspicious from the getgo.  for government work particularly.  israel doesn't allow it, why do we?


would also be good if president trump would tighten the lobbying restrictions in his administration along the lines of the program he presented during the campaign:


best part of this article, imo?

"Victoria Nuland, the State Department's assistant secretary for Europe, was also not asked to stay on."

Tarzan's picture

Thank God Nuland got canned, she should have been arrested for tampering with another nations election.


“we will have so much winning if I get elected, that you may get bored with winning.”


Not yet bored with WINNING!  

knukles's picture

You left off a zero as in "0" to the left of and next to the decimal

two hoots's picture

State has been a one person travel show for the last 8 years.  The just need about 8 people. 

nufio's picture

because of the hiring freeze, these positions wont be filled again?

Tall Tom's picture




Airing in March... They are telling you when it is set to happen.  That is when it happened to Reagan, How fucked up is that?

two hoots's picture

Those in the State Department have built an empire.   Much of it based on promotions and positions based on supervising more people so to do that you grow the empire.  That is the government growth that benefits none, but them.  Additinally, adult children of the D.C. bureaucrats, private/public, are hired for favor and sent traveling and touring to get them world experience, out of their parents hair. and again, to grow the empire. These same children become the new bureaucrats.  Much of State and USAID needs office/personnel/budget cuts and closely regulated.  This would be more helpful than most anything else they accomplish.    The office that handles Israel/Palestine has either totally failed, wasted dollars, or they are sending money ($221M on Kerry/Obama last day) to keep them quiet while Israel encroaches into the West Bank (taking advantage of the hate muslim times)  liked China is encroaching into the South China Seas.  It is an utter embarassing mess, all just talk and noise. 

philipat's picture

Yes agreed, State had become a subsidiary of the Democrat Administration and, to a lesser extent, the War Party. Remember that letter signed by 200 officials at State "demanding" military action in Ukraine? I'm guessing that there will be a lot more "resignations" before this is over. Only then can it be rebuilt as a professional Organisation.

FreedomGuy's picture

I think most every government department is the same. I cannot wait till they get to the IRS and the Lois Lerner cronies.

I truly believe that if Hillary won every department would have been terminally corrupted. I think it is a very large task for Trump to root these little leftist bastards out...all the way down to the front line people, if necessary.

Raffie's picture

They are leaving before they are exposed.

nightwish's picture


Sweep tfj's and ass-kissing female liberal heads of departments the fuck out of government. Put people loyal to America and no one else in positions to run our government. Its high fucking time for this shit.

e_goldstein's picture

If you haven't already, watch George Webb's Where is Eric Braverman? series on Youtube.

Pizzagate is just one small part of the criminality that occurred when the Canklesaurus was Sec State.

It's like going down a rabbit hole...

if the hole was made by the rabbit from Donnie Darko.

BarryTheBolshevik's picture

That's basically George Webbs take on it!

Crash Overide's picture

I am sure they are caught up in the Clinton Foundation investigation, stay tuned for criminal indictments...

divingengineer's picture

It's not like we lost the state department "Dream Team". 

They've been cocking it all up for years.

And guess what, the CAN be replaced. They can promote people into the positions, Kennedy had to learn it for the first time too. 

MEFOBILLS's picture

And guess what, the CAN be replaced


This is correct.  The senior managment is not muscle memory like the article says.  The muscle memory is down lower in an organization amongst all of the rank and file workers.  Senior managment of government bureaucracies flatter themselves when they think they are invaluable.

Senior management is more like a helmsman on a ship, pointing in a direction.  A clean sweep at State Department headquarters will be no big deal.  See what happens in future.

They were probably told to take a hike, or lose their pensions in legal prosecution.  They chose to protect their pensions.

(People in civilian life don't even get pensions anymore..so cry me a river.")

Full sweeps don't just happen, the upper managment didn't all get together and decide to quit on "principle."  That doesn't happen, people have kids in college, etc. and are afraid of life disruption.



Creative_Destruct's picture

Exactly. It's middle management, front-line mangement and the workers who are the "muscle" (institutional) memory.

OfAllElaboratePlans's picture
OfAllElaboratePlans (not verified) MEFOBILLS Jan 26, 2017 3:20 PM

'MUSCLE MEMORY' is a physiological/biological term.


They should have thought up a better metaphor. But then, what can you expect from a bunch of affirmative action, useless, taxpayer job hogging assclowns anyway.


They probably had one of the idiots from their affirmative action PR firm think up 'muscle memory' anyway (who brainstormed it after they just signed up for their ZERO DOWN 'Planet Fitness' membership)...



prmths2's picture

I would have expected "tribal knowledge" to be a more obvious term, but then the response to its use would also be obvious.

WarPony's picture

If MEMORY serves, those MUSCLE heads won't be missed?

wishes's picture

Haley Barbour is the former governor of Mississippi, not South Carolina

wishes's picture

Haley Barbour is the former governor of Mississippi, not South Carolina

wishes's picture

Haley Barbour is the former governor of Mississippi, not South Carolina

Mike in GA's picture

Nikki Haley is Trump's pick for UN ambassador, from SC.  Haley Barber is former Mississippi gov.

Lem Motlow's picture

It's Nikki Haley, but nice try.

Uncertain T's picture

That's Nikki Haley... Yes, SC gov and yes already confirmed as UN ambassador 

Manthong's picture

This has been one of the most fun weeks of my adult life.

Manthong's picture

“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” said David Wade”

He don’t get it, do he?

Its not about replication of an ineffective and destructive collective mindset.

It’s about replacement.

greenskeeper carl's picture

But without these people, who will approve all the weapons sales to Saudi Arabia? Those Yemeni dirt huts aren't going to bomb themselves, you know.