Speed Reads


Career State Department diplomats have reportedly been told to avoid eye contact with Rex Tillerson

On Thursday night, The Washington Post posted a profile of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and it doesn't make him sound very ... approachable:

Tillerson takes a private elevator to his palatial office on the seventh floor of the State Department building, where sightings of him are rare on the floors below.... Most of his interactions are with an insular circle of political aides who are new to the State Department. Many career diplomats say they still have not met him, and some have been instructed not to speak to him directly — or even make eye contact. On his first three foreign trips, Tillerson skipped visits with State Department employees and their families, embassy stops that were standard morale-boosters under other secretaries of state. [The Washington Post]

A senior Tillerson aide tells The Washington Post that the former ExxonMobil CEO is keeping a low profile because he likes to do his job without fanfare and is more comfortable making deals behind closed doors with just a few aides, like he did as an oil executive. But people in and out of the State Department say he's doing himself and his department no favors by walling himself off from the professional diplomats in his office and at embassies around the world, especially since neither he nor any of his political aides have any experience in foreign policy. You can read more about Tillerson at The Washington Post.