MEDIA NOTE: New US Secretary of State – ODI expert available and statement

13 March 2018

US President Donald Trump has replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo.

Alex Thier, Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute and former senior official in the US government, is available to comment on the decision to remove Mr Tillerson.

Mr Thier said: ‘Rex Tillerson lacked vision, a strong team, and the backing of the President – a sure recipe for failure – and US foreign policy suffered for it. The removal of Rex Tillerson gives the Trump administration an opportunity to get its foreign policy back on track after what has been a damaging year for both the US and its partners abroad.

‘We shouldn’t pretend that a new Secretary of State is going to suddenly change President Trump’s chaotic foreign policy. Mike Pompeo’s closer relationship with the President may make for less drama but it might not improve the fundamentals.

‘However, things can get much better than they have been since last January. The new Secretary must articulate a vision that ordinary Americans and people around the world can embrace, he must appoint credible, hard-working people in the right positions, and he should make shared prosperity a central plank of US foreign policy.’

Before joining ODI, Mr Thier held senior leadership roles at the US Agency for International Development (USAID), including Chief of Policy, Planning, and Learning and Assistant to the Administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Mr Thier please contact James Rush at [email protected] or phone +44 (0)7808 791265