Behold the Latest In Management Consultant BS for the State Department

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been busily decimating the State Department despite the fact that both Democrats and Republicans want the department staffed at roughly the same level as last year. But will Congress ever do anything about this? Apparently they’re getting close, and Politico’s Nahal Toosi reports that even Sen. Bob Corker is starting to get impatient:

Tillerson’s proposed cuts to the State Department’s staff and budget have drawn growing bipartisan fire from Capitol Hill for months. But Corker’s criticism stands out. Until recently, Corker has been a steadfast ally of Tillerson, whose nomination he championed and whom he has described as one of the adults around Trump who “separate our country from chaos.”

….Last week, a bipartisan group of Senate staffers met with Tillerson aides to get an update on Tillerson’s plan to reshape his department. The State staffers shared a presentation, a copy of which was obtained by Politico, that infuriated the Senate aides with its lack of substance. “Part of the frustration is that they briefed entirely on process as opposed to what they actually plan to do,” said a Senate aide who attended the session.

….In a hearing Tuesday, Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, blasted Tillerson, pointing to reports of an exodus of senior diplomats from the Foreign Service. He also slammed Tillerson for being slow or simply unwilling to answer lawmakers’ questions about what is happening to America’s diplomatic ranks. Corker said he agreed with “many” of Cardin’s criticisms and mentioned the “unsatisfactory” meeting between Senate and Tillerson aides.

“Unsatisfactory”? Check out a typical slide from the presentation Tillerson’s staffers shared:

After nine months, this is all they’ve got? Management consultant gobbledygook? And it gets worse. Here’s a description of how they’re going to develop high-performance leaders:

For senior leaders accountable for the future of State and USAID and for fulfilling the organizations’ missions, each participant will lead a Breakthrough Project in their work area with defined mission impact, taking them to an entirely new echelon of impact, leadership, inspiration and delivered results.

A new echelon of impact! This is flat-out embarrassing stuff. Can’t Tillerson at least pay for good management consultant BS? Or does he not know the difference?


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend