20 October 2017

In a recent Daily Texan article, Strauss Center Distinguished Scholars Greg Engle, Michael Mosser, and Paul Miller commented on Rex Tillerson’s performance and ability to function effectively as Secretary of State. 

There is a consensus among all three scholars that, at present, Rex Tillerson’s performance is inhibited by external factors, resulting in a lack-luster perception of the Secretary’s performance in the last 9-months. Engle cited four factors influencing Tillerson’s overall efficacy: “President Trump, U.S. foreign affairs, the department itself, and the press.” Miller reiterated this sentiment noting that all members of Trump’s cabinet are playing a reactionary game with the President’s sporadic foreign policy process. In addition, the administration sought to cut the State Department’s funding by almost a third, negating any hope for substantive departmental reform. Mosser chimed in as a reminder that Tillerson has also recently been dogged by talk of replacement. While Mosser did not give further credence to speculation that UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is a potential candidate for Tillerson’s post, his remarks did reflect the sentiment that while Tillerson is on the outs with the Executive Branch, Haley has worked her way into the circle.

 Read the article and the scholars’ full remarks here.