Since Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took office in April 2018, he has been committed to fully staffing the State Department. He lifted the hiring freeze in May, saying “We need our men and women on the ground, executing American diplomacy with great vigor and energy, and representing our great nation… By resuming hiring of the most gifted and qualified individuals, we will ensure that we have the right people with the right skills working to advance our U.S. national interests and executing the Department’s mission in an increasingly complicated and challenging world.”
While there has been progress, key leadership positions remain without confirmed senior leadership at the State Department, USAID, U.S. embassies, and other U.S. international affairs agencies. More than 70 nominees are currently awaiting Senate confirmation, while more than a dozen ambassadorships still lack nominees. These vacancies encompass some of the nation’s highest ranking diplomats, including the Under Secretary for Management; Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights; Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy; and Assistant Secretaries of State for Near Eastern Affairs and East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
At a time of growing crises around the world, it is imperative that these positions be filled to advance America’s security and economic interests. Alongside a number of bipartisan Congressional statements over the last year weighing in on the personnel challenge, President Trump’s National Security Strategy recognized that “diplomacy is indispensable” and a “forward-deployed” diplomatic and development presence is critical to our ability to compete against rising powers and growing threats. Unfortunately, the absence of personnel in key positions and embassies directly undermines American leadership around the world.
Source: Washington Post/Partnership for Public Service Trump Administration Appointee Tracker.