Small Wars Journal

Before U.S. Diplomats, Pompeo Pledges to ‘Listen and Learn’

Before U.S. Diplomats, Pompeo Pledges to ‘Listen and Learn’ by Carol Morello and John Hudson – Washington Post

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on the first day in his new job, 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.

Pompeo’s action, taken less than five hours after he walked in the building, was another example of the new secretary’s determination to show he is a different kind of leader than his predecessor, Rex Tillerson. It also is intended to show disheartened employees that the State Department can “get back its swagger.” Under Tillerson’s hiring freeze, the number of family members working at embassies and consulates dropped from 3,500 to fewer than 2,400 last year, and he insisted on personally approving every waiver. In contrast, Pompeo is leaving it up to the chiefs of mission…

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