Trump to nominate John Sullivan as No. 2 at State Department

Trump to nominate John Sullivan as No. 2 at State Department
© Greg Nash

President Trump plans to nominate attorney John Sullivan to serve as the State Department's No. 2 official, the White House announced Tuesday evening.

Sullivan will serve as both deputy secretary of State and deputy secretary of State for Management and Resources, according to a White House announcement. He will only be paid for serving in one role.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Trump and Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by AT&T - Supreme Court lets Texas abortion law stand Trump-era ban on travel to North Korea extended Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump MORE had settled on Sullivan for the position. The newspaper reported he was initially the Trump administration's pick to be the Pentagon's general counsel.


Sullivan is a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of Mayer Brown LLP and serves as co-chair of the firm’s national security practice.

He previously chaired the U.S.-Iraq Business Dialogue, a governmental advisory committee, and has held various positions in the departments of Justice, Defense and Commerce, including serving as deputy secretary of Commerce under former President George W. Bush.

Tillerson had wanted to tap Elliott Abrams, a veteran of the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, for the No. 2 position, but Trump reportedly nixed the candidate after learning Abrams criticized him during last year's presidential race.

The White House on Tuesday also announced Marshall Billingslea to be assistant secretary for terrorist financing at the Department of the Treasury, Gilbert Kaplan to be undersecretary of Commerce for international trade and John Marshall Mitnick to be general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security.