Having secured his own job as secretary of state, Mike Pompeo faces a tough new question: Who can he get to work for him?
Pompeo has inherited an unusual number of vacancies at Foggy Bottom and U.S. embassies and has promised to fill them quickly. Some names are already circulating for the more than 70 positions now open. But, like his ousted predecessor, Rex Tillerson, Pompeo faces major obstacles.
One is that the White House has blackballed dozens of Republican foreign affairs experts who signed “Never Trump” letters in 2016 or who otherwise criticized President Donald Trump.
Many other conservatives may simply not wish to join the administration or are unqualified for the available positions. The Foreign Service also is pressing Pompeo to choose career diplomats whenever possible, especially for sensitive ambassadorships.
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