In late June, Bloomberg reported on the impending resignation of Chief of Protocol Sean Lawler over allegations of discrimination and harassment. Bloomberg said that he was pulled off AF1 manifest after his staff complained of intimidating behavior, including reportedly, carrying a horsewhip in the office. (see @StateDept’s Protocol Chief Sean Lawler to Quit Before G-20 Summit #horsewhip #wherearethehorses).
Also in June, we posted U.S. Embassy Gabon: State/OIG’s Ode to All Things Dreadful in a Small Post. In that case, the embassy’s top two officials departed post prior to the release of a State/OIG inspection report.
On August 2nd, Politico reported that Kiron Skinner, the head of Policy Planning at the State Department has been “fired over ‘abusive’ management style.” Just a year ago, Secretary Pompeo described Dr. Skinner as “a national security powerhouse” and “a one-woman, strategic thinking tour de force” in a statement to The Wall Street Journal. “I’m confident that she will enhance our influence overseas, protect the American people, and promote our prosperity,” he said. Politico said it learned of the firing from a Trump administration official. A senior State Department official reportedly confirmed the firing to Politico, saying that several members of Skinner’s staff had threatened to quit if she wasn’t removed.
In July, Secretary Pompeo appointed Skinner as head of the executive secretariat of the controversial Commission on Unalienable Rights.
On August 11, Newsmax, the conservative website has a piece on Skinner that includes her denials, and multiple quotes from friends and allies. She will reportedly return to teaching at Carnegie Mellon University and will also rejoin as a Fellow at the Hoover Institution
According to the state.gov website, S/P members include 22 staffers and two staff writers. As of this writing, Skinner is still listed as director of S/P. The State Department’s telephone directory (though not always current) also has a different version of the office’s composition as of August 9, 2019.
— John Gizzi (@johngizzi) August 12, 2019
1/UPDATED SCOOP on Kiron Skinner fired as head of Policy Planning at the State Department. Officials accuse her of making homophobic remarks, among other “abusive” behavior. A staff mutiny was in the works: https://t.co/nsfmn8Lhin
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) August 2, 2019
NEW on firing of Kiron Skinner from State: She was escorted out after surprise meeting. She wanted to diversify the workforce (she was department's top African American woman). And she spent a week at State in early 2017 (Tillerson era) vying for the job. https://t.co/fnPe1YMedo
— Edward Wong (@ewong) August 2, 2019
UPDATE: Kiron Skinner, @SecPompeo's director of policy planning, was fired for jeopardizing "the mission" of her department due to her "behavior as a manager."
She was accused of berating people, using homophobic slurs, among other things.https://t.co/HYFILtNRLJ
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 3, 2019
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 4, 2018