SecState Blinken held a town hall w/ State Dept staffers today, & source tells me it was intense. People got emotional over Afghan situation, saying there was poor planning, confusion, etc. It’s hurt Blinken’s standing, but there’s appreciation that he held the session.
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) September 3, 2021
This seems to be State leadership acknowledging how much of a psychological toll the rapid Afghanistan collapse has had on US diplomatic corps. About 1/4 of all US diplomats served in Afghanistan or Iraq. Many believed they were working to building a better future for Afghanistan
— Robbie Gramer (@RobbieGramer) September 3, 2021
Almost everything you think you know about the State Department's handling of the evacuation from Afghanistan is wrong. I talked to Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and others to get to the truth. What they did and are doing is remarkable. https://t.co/DZQOfAYl9C
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) September 2, 2021
US official: "Majority" of Afghan visa applicants have been left behind. US staff in Kabul "haunted" by decisions they had to make at the gates https://t.co/SddlYRIIIG
— jessdonati (@jessdonati) September 1, 2021
On March 19, Brian McKeon was sworn-in as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources (D/MR) at the State Department. He would only be the fourth person to encumber that position since its creation in 2009. This position, the third highest ranking office in Foggy Bottom was not filled during the previous Administration. The Department’s website does not list Mr. McKeon’s office or has his official bio as of this writing, but his public schedule includes meetings and briefings in Foggy Bottom on March 22. We’re sure the website will catch up soon.
Today, Brian McKeon was sworn-in as the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. As a longtime public servant, he brings a wealth of experience to the @StateDept. Great to have you on board, Brian! pic.twitter.com/WQSTTNQsSv
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) March 19, 2021
— Brian P. McKeon (@bpmckeon64) March 18, 2021
We are all so lucky to have @bpmckeon64 confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. He is committed to supporting all who work so hard for peace, prosperity and security. https://t.co/x7bZVDUGDM
— Wendy R. Sherman (@wendyrsherman) March 19, 2021
Congratulations, Brian. Always so much to do to try to help the @StateDept meet its many challenges. Hopefully, you will have the help of many in Congress as well as the Executive Branch as you need it.
— Jonathan M Winer (@JonathanMaWiner) March 19, 2021
Congrats to one of my first bosses in DC, who taught me what a healthy command climate looks and feels like! State is so lucky to have you!
— Dr. Kathleen J. McInnis (@kjmcinnis1) March 18, 2021
Congratulations! No one better for this assignment!
— Dan Shapiro (@DanielBShapiro) March 19, 2021
On March 18, the U.S. Senate confirmed by voice vote the following nominations:
Executive Calendar #28, William Joseph Burns, of Maryland, to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Executive Calendar #36, Brian P. McKeon, of the District of Columbia, to be Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources
The nomination of Wendy Sherman to be Deputy Secretary of State remains pending on the Executive Calendar with the reported hold placed on her nomination by Cancún Cruz, a senator who will forever be remembered as either one of the heroes of the January 6 insurrection or one who fled to Mexico while his state froze.
Senate confirms former diplomat William Burns as CIA director https://t.co/pOR1dUT6Rn
— U.S. Senate News (@SenateNews) March 18, 2021
Confirmed by voice vote: Executive Calendar #36 Brian P. McKeon to be Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources @StateDept
— Senate Cloakroom (@SenateCloakroom) March 18, 2021
Burns on track to be confirmed today as CIA dir after Ted Cruz lifts his hold. Blinken’s statement committing to Nord Stream 2 sanctions caused Cruz to relent, though he’s still holding Wendy Sherman, deputy SecState nominee, till sanctions are imposted.https://t.co/hND8DHbMYc
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) March 18, 2021
Excerpt from Statement of Brian P. McKeon Nominee to be Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Committee on Foreign Relations March 3, 2021:
My first priority, if confirmed, is to help the Department of State build back better to meet the diplomatic and security challenges of the 21st century. That starts with investing in its greatest asset – the over 75,000 public servants who work in Washington, at over 270 posts around the world, and in dozens of facilities around the United States. Our diplomats are on the front lines of America’s security and interests. They deserve our support and efforts to strengthen their ranks. We must ensure that we recruit, develop and retain a diverse and professional workforce that is prepared and empowered to advance not only our traditional diplomatic interests, but also to address the pressing challenges of this era, such as climate change, global health security, irregular migration, advanced technology, increased economic competitiveness, threats to democratic governance, and, not least, long-term strategic competition with China.
Let me say a few words in particular about diversity, which will be a top priority for all of the senior leadership. Stated simply, the Department of State cannot fully represent America unless its workforce is fully representative of America. We must make real gains in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion through concrete actions to dismantle structural barriers at the Department. Meaningful change will require sustained focus on three key areas: talent management, transparency, and accountability. Secretary Blinken has made clear he will have such a focus, and so will I, if confirmed. As an initial action, the Secretary has followed through 3 on his commitment to this committee by creating a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Office, reporting directly to him.
If confirmed, I also intend to devote considerable attention to ensuring that we are aligning our resources with our policy priorities – both investments in our operations and in State and USAID foreign assistance programs – and that we are good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
For the last several years, the Congress has, on a bipartisan basis, protected the international affairs budget from requested cuts, which has thankfully provided a solid foundation on which to build as we undertake the collective work to revitalize the Department of State. If confirmed, I look forward to working with you to ensure the Department has the resources and authorities it needs to meet the many challenges we face. I am committed to ensuring the effective management of the resources made available to us, but we will need your help to make the necessary investments in our workforce, in information technology, in building and maintaining safe and secure embassies, and in our foreign assistance programs that seek to advance our national interests.
Dan Diller and Auburn native Brian McKeon are members of different political parties. But as staffers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, they worked together. https://t.co/CpsABIeltM
— The_Citizen (@The_Citizen) March 2, 2021
Senate Foreign Relations Confirmation hearing: Wendy Sherman to be deputy secretary of State and Brian McKeon to be deputy secretary of State for management and resources – LIVE online here: https://t.co/gAyyKMBYL2 pic.twitter.com/gQsEWaTCjV
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 3, 2021