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Rex Tillerson email reveals details of State Dept. restructuring that could save $10 billion over five years

September 15, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the U.S. State Department are working on a plan that could save the department $10 billion over the course of five years, and the restructuring plan would align or possibly merge the State Department with USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development).

POLITICO obtained a copy of the email Tillerson sent to State Department employees this week, which details his proposed updates and changes.


These include an updated IT system, better programs for employees with families, and to “further empower the State Department’s top leaders,” POLITICO reported.

“His main point, however, focused on ways to better coordinate what the State Department does with what USAID does,” POLITICO pointed out. “Tillerson never explicitly says he wants to merge the two entities, which would probably require congressional approval, but leaves the impression that he wants to eliminate redundancies.

According to the email, Tillerson said:

“Our redesign plan seeks to align State and USAID foreign assistance and policy strategies, capabilities, and resources to execute foreign policy priorities more effectively. It includes several ambitious proposals with investments that will generate a minimum deliverable of 10 percent [$5B] in efficiencies relative to current [FY2017] spending over the next five years, with an aspirational general interest target of up to 20 percent [$10B].”


Tillerson said the changes would come out “on a rolling basis,” POLITICO reported. “Once a solution is ready to go, we’re going to put it to work as soon as we can.”