Rex Tillerson, the former chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ExxonMobil has been sworn in as the 69th US Secretary of State under the new President Donald Trump’s government.
The 64-year-old won the approval of the senate in an extremely close vote of 56 to 43. His confirmation was more contentious in comparison to his predecessors John Kerry and Hillary Clinton who had won the nomination with a huge margin of 94-3 and 94-2 respectively.
• Tillerson’s nomination faced opposition from most Senate Democrats who boycotted the vote.
• The main point of contention regarding his nomination was his close business relationship with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his opposing stand on sanctions imposed against Moscow.
• However, he was able to win the majority with Republican numbers and some Democrats who crossed party lines.
• This is Tillerson’s first appointment at a political office.
• He was sworn in by the Vice President, Mike Pence in the Oval office.
This appointment comes at a time when over 1000 career diplomats have expressed their disapproval of Trump’s executive order temporarily banning visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations.
According to former US Ambassador Ryan C Crocker, Tillerson will now be faced with the huge task of implementing Donald Trump’s intention of making a radical break from the previous US foreign policy leadership, very well knowing that such a step might lead to global chaos.
About Rex Tillerson
• Born on 23 March 1952, Rex Tillerson began his career as an engineer. He holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
• He joined ExxonMobil in 1975 and served as the company’s Chairman and CEO from 2006 to 2016. Exxon is the world’s 6th largest company by revenue.
• He retired from his position on 31 December 2016, following his nomination to the post of US Secretary of State by Donald Trump.