Accessibility links

Breaking News

New U.S. Secretary Of State Says Change Coming To State Department

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson waves before delivering remarks to State Department employees in Washington on February 2.

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has praised State Department diplomats and employees and signaled that changes were coming to how the United States conducts its diplomacy.

Tillerson gave no specifics in his speech on February 2, his first to the department since being confirmed by the Senate and sworn in by President Donald Trump a day earlier.

"Hi, I'm the new guy," he told a standing-room-only crowd at the agency's Washington headquarters.

"We cannot sustain Ineffective tradition over optimal outcomes," Tillerson said, without going into specifics.

The former head of ExxonMobil starts his job amid tumult in the department.

Hundreds of State Department employees have openly criticized a Trump-administration executive order temporarily barring refugees and migrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

Tillerson appeared to allude to the dissent in his speech, saying: "We cannot let our personal convictions overwhelm our ability to work as one team."

  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.