Not just the nation but the world rests on the shoulders of the next secretary of state, who President-elect Donald Trump wants to be Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson. Trump touts Tillerson’s “vast experience at dealing successfully with all types of foreign governments” — experience accrued in the service of one of the world’s most powerful corporations.
While negotiation is a key skill for a diplomat, there are non-negotiable values that the world counts on to be upheld and championed by the United States. As a State Department mission statement puts it, the office’s role is to build strong alliances and protect the U.S. and its friends from the threats of “tyranny, poverty and disease” while “boldly” promoting “freedom of speech, conscience and religion, the rule of law and economic freedom.”
A successful secretary of state has to be willing to fight for humanity — no small task, but the world offers no simple challenges.