Six senior officials in charge of management at the State Department have departed their posts under the new administration of President Donald Trump, The Washington Post reports, citing four unnamed State officials. On Wednesday afternoon, nine-year State veteran Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary for management, resigned suddenly, joined by Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond, and Office of Foreign Missions Director Gentry O. Smith.
Additionally, Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security Gregory Starr and Bureau of Overseas Building Operations Director Lydia Muniz retired from their posts on Jan. 20, the day of Trump's inauguration. All five officials worked under Kennedy to manage department logistics as well as State posts overseas; the Post further notes that "several senior foreign service officers" in regional State outposts have either left or resigned their positions since the election.
"It's the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember," David Wade, the State Department's former chief of staff under John Kerry, told the Post. "That's incredibly difficult to replicate." Kennedy had reportedly planned to try to stay on in his job under incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and his resignation Wednesday was apparently unexpected.
Reporters have noted that many of the senior officials had served under both Republican and Democratic presidents. "In the context of a president [Trump] who railed against the U.S. foreign policy establishment during his campaign and a secretary of state [Tillerson] with no government experience, the vacancies are ... concerning," the Post wrote. Read more about the mass departures from the State Department at The Washington Post.