Posted: 1:47 am ET
Back in March, the WSJ reported that John J. Sullivan is set to be nominated as Deputy Secretary of State (see Previously Announced DOD Nominee John J. Sullivan Now Slated to be @StateDept’s No. 2). On April 11, the White House officially announced President Trump’s intent to nominate Mr. Sullivan not only as the State Department’s Deputy Secretary of State (D) but to also serve concurrently as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources (D/MR). If confirmed, the White House would get two positions filled with one nominee; Mr. Sullivan would succeed Tony Blinken as “D” and Heather Higginbottom as “D/MR” at the same time.
Click here for Mr. Sullivan’s archived biography via DOC.
Deputy Commerce Secretary John J. Sullivan Swearing In Ceremony | May 27, 2008 (Photo via Department of Commerce)
Since 2009, the State Department has been authorized a Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources (D/MR), the third highest ranking position at the agency. Jack L. Lew stayed from January 28, 2009 – November 18, 2010, before moving on to better jobs. Thomas R. Nides was in from January 3, 2011 – February, 2013, then rejoined Morgan Stanley as vice chairman. After a stint at OMB, Heather Anne Higginbottom served the State Department from 2013-2017. This is an eight year old position, and while it may be worrisome for some that this job will now be concurrently filled by “D”, the State Department managed for a long time without this position. Also, if the top ranking person in the agency is not willing to fight for the State Department’s funding, how the heck is the deputy for management and resources going to make a difference in the White House or with Congressional appropriators? We suspect that the D/MR office will be folded into D, which makes the most sense, and “P” will again become the 3rd most senior person in the Department. One of our main concerns continue to be the appointment of the Under Secretary for Management, and that he/she has a depth of experience not only in management but in the many challenges of overseas assignments.