Barely two weeks into his tenure as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson is shaking things up in the Department of State. On Friday, he reassigned most of the staff assigned to work alongside him, and there are fears that this is a "major reorganization" at the department. Normally, assignments last until the summertime and people are not reassigned until a replacement has been found.
These changes impacted about two dozen people.
While Tillerson was on his first overseas trip at the G20 in Bonn, Germany, his aides told the entire staff in the offices of the deputy secretary of state for management and resources and the State Department counselor that their current assignments were prematurely coming to an end, according to senior aides.
Staff who worked for the head of the latter division, State Department Counselor Kristie Kenney, was told Tillerson does not intend to keep her position. Kenney was one of the last remaining senior officials at the department, having served as an ambassador under Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and is expected to retire next week. An aide to Tillerson told CNN, "no decisions have been made" about scrapping the offices permanently.
Aides defended the moves, saying that the changes were made to move people into more productive roles, and that the State Department is relatively "bloated."