State: Pompeo will decide what to do with Tillerson's redesign plans

State: Pompeo will decide what to do with Tillerson's redesign plans
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Whether the State Department continues to pursue a sweeping structural overhaul started under outgoing Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonDiplomats describe all-time low in morale at State under Trump Trump sends nomination for Russia ambassador to Senate Democrats eye Pompeo testimony MORE will be up to CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDiplomat who raised Ukraine concerns to testify in Trump impeachment probe Overnight Defense: Trump weighs leaving some troops in Syria to 'secure the oil' | US has pulled 2,000 troops from Afghanistan | Pelosi leads delegation to Afghanistan, Jordan Mulvaney faces uncertain future after public gaffes MORE, a spokeswoman for the department said Thursday.

"That information will be bundled together and we will provide that to Director Pompeo," Heather Nauert, the acting undersecretary of State for public diplomacy, said at a press briefing. "He can take a look at it and choose what he wants to do with it."

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE moved on Tuesday to fire Tillerson and replace him with Pompeo. 


But that abrupt ouster left the future of Tillerson's long-touted State Department "redesign" murky. The initiative has largely been spearheaded by Tillerson, and he has called it the "most important" work of his tenure at the agency.

Nauert said that certain aspects of the redesign will likely be "no-brainers" for Pompeo, particularly a proposal to overhaul and modernize the department's information technology. 

"There are some things in there that are absolutely no-brainers, like upgrading our IT systems," she said. "I will imagine that that would probably be something that he would retain, but that is his choice."

Tillerson spent much of his first year in office in the planning phases of the redesign. His ouster came as the department entered the implementation phase of the overhaul — dubbed by agency officials as the "Impact Initiative."

The overhaul was one of Tillerson's more controversial undertakings, with critics arguing that the effort has left many top positions at the department unfilled, and has also prompted the departure of senior career officials.

It's unclear whether Pompeo will ultimately carry on Tillerson's plans.