The State Division’s third highest-ranking official and prime profession diplomat is stepping down, one other blow to a depleted overseas service.
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon, knowledgeable company staffers on Thursday that he’ll retire as quickly as a successor is confirmed by the Senate.
The 60-year-old has served underneath six Presidents since becoming a member of the U.S. Overseas Service in 1984.
Shannon, who holds the rank of “profession ambassador” — the best within the Overseas Service — advised the Related Press he was retiring for private and never political causes.
“I made a decision it was an essential second to take a step again and to find out what subsequent I can do in my life,” he stated. The dying of his mom late final yr and his personal 60th birthday final week contributed to his determination, he added.
Shannon’s retirement bookends a tough yr for the State Division, the place poor morale has change into rampant underneath the Trump administration.
Final summer season, a prime ambassador famous that the State Division was in disarray and dropping important leaders at a “dizzying velocity” underneath Trump.
Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, the president of the Overseas Service officers’ union, stated that there was “merely no denying the warning indicators that time to mounting threats to our establishment.”
“There isn’t a denying that our management ranks are being depleted at a dizzying velocity,” Stephenson, the previous ambassador to Panama, wrote in an essay included within the American Overseas Service Affiliation’s month-to-month publication.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised Shannon, inviting him again ought to he change his thoughts.
“There’ll at all times be a spot for Tom Shannon on the State Division,” Tillerson stated, including he would miss Shannon’s “encyclopedic” data of the Overseas Service and U.S. diplomatic historical past. “He’s the senior statesman.”