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U.S. Secretary Of State Pompeo Speaks To Employees, Promises To Revive Agency’s ‘Swagger’

New York Times: Pompeo Promises to Return ‘Swagger’ to the State Department
“…Mike Pompeo … assured hundreds of diplomats on Tuesday that he not only knew many of them already, but that he also had a deep appreciation for their work and commitment to the United States. ‘You chose to be a foreign service officer, or a civil servant, or to come work here in many other capacities — and to do so because you’re patriots, and great Americans, and because you want to be an important part of America’s face to the world,’ Mr. Pompeo said in brief remarks during a formal arrival ceremony at the department’s headquarters…” (Harris, 5/1).

NPR: State Department Employees Eager To See What Pompeo Brings As Secretary Of State
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already been on an overseas trip, but Tuesday [was] his first actual day in the office at the State Department. Employees are eager to hear how he plans to bring back this agency’s ‘swagger.’ … Pompeo is promising the staff that he won’t spend all his time cloistered in his seventh floor office, and he’s already capitalizing on his close ties to the president, who never came to the department when [former Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson was here but will do so [Wednesday]…” (Keleman, 5/1).

Vox: Mike Pompeo spent his first week as secretary of state being the anti-Rex Tillerson
“…Experts say the new secretary may be setting a new tone for how the State Department — and U.S. diplomacy more generally — will operate now that he’s at the helm. … He allowed multiple journalists to travel with him on his foreign trip, took questions on the record from them on the plane, and appeared Sunday on ABC’s This Week. That’s quite the turnaround from the Tillerson days, but it’s also a return to the norm. It’s expected that secretaries of state frequently appear in public and speak with the press, natural things to do for the nation’s top diplomat…” (Ward, 5/2).

Washington Post: Before U.S. diplomats, Pompeo pledges to ‘listen and learn’
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo … announced Tuesday that he is lifting a hiring freeze on family members of employees posted overseas. The decision to end the freeze, which slashed their numbers by almost a third last year, removed a thorn in the side of many diplomats whose spouses accompany them abroad and find it hard to obtain jobs in a foreign country. … ‘Ensuring that we have the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time to effectively carry out the department’s foreign policy goals is crucial to our continued success,’ he wrote in an email he signed just ‘Mike’…” (Hudson/Morello, 5/1).

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