The arrival of the Trump transition team at the State Department


Following the Nov. 8 elections, and before Rex Tillerson’s pick as the new secretary of state on Dec. 13, representatives of President-elect Trump’s transition team have arrived at the Department of State to support preparations for the transition (according to address C 2016_11_124 of Nov.21, 2016).

The transition team is headed by Ambassador Charles L. Glazer and Erin Walsh.

Charles Glazer was sworn in as U.S. ambassador to El Salvador by President George W. Bush on Jan. 16, 2007, but he resigned on Jan. 20, 2009, upon receipt of an Obama order requiring the departure of politically appointed ambassadors by noon on that date. One can imagine Mr. Glazer’s feelings now, at his return to the place where he was kicked out eight years ago. Earlier on, in 2004, he served as a Republican national committeeman for Connecticut, and a President Bush Jr. appointee of the board of trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Recently, he served as a Connecticut finance co-chair for the Donald Trump campaign, together with Connecticut delegate Kevin Moynihan.

Erin Walsh is also a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team. She served previously as senior advisor in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the Department of State and, since 2010, has joined Goldman Sachs and serves as executive director and head of the Office of Corporate Engagement for Asia Pacific.

The transition team will be assisted by a dedicated executive secretariat to ensure they receive information and logistical support from the department to include security clearances, legal issues, human resources, and information management. Communication with the transition team will be directed and managed by the executive secretariat staff (the line). The transition team will make requests for information through the line, and bureaus and offices will be tasked to provide information, as needed, back through the line.

Likewise, the line will manage the scheduling of meetings and other conversations between members of the transition team and department employees. This will ensure that the department and members of the transition team comply with applicable law and policies, including security and non-disclosure requirements, and that requests for information are tasked to the appropriate department offices.

I can anticipate interesting “meetings and other conversations” between the transition team members and the Department of State employees and contractors.

As I predicted before, a massive departure of federal employees are expected to retire before and after the newly sworn-in Trump administration team.

On Nov. 18, President-elect Trump announced the first wave of agency landing teams for the Department of Defense, Department of State, Department of Justice, and National Security Council.

On the very same day, Undersecretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, on behalf of State Secretary John F. Kerry, will have honored over 300 Department of State retirees during the 2016 retirement ceremony (according to address HR/EX 2016_11_116 of Nov. 17, 2016).

Other conversation topics might include: renewal (or not) of the two-year term offered to a series of federal employees, freezing or reducing the number of vacancies for federal positions, and cutting some federal benefits that have become a sacred cow for an administration in full process of ossification and fossilization.
Tiberiu Dianu has published several books and a host of articles in law, politics, and post-communist societies. He currently lives and works in Washington, D.C., and can be followed on Medium.

TIBERIU DIANU, Special to the Saipan Tribune

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