Home POLITICS Prepared remarks from incoming U.S. Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo

Prepared remarks from incoming U.S. Secretary of State, CIA Director Mike Pompeo Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 26, 2021


Thursday morning, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations as they begin deliberations on his nomination to be the next U.S. Secretary of State.  Please see below excerpts from his opening statement, as prepared for delivery.


On Working Closely with U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations:

“Should I be confirmed, the regular contact we’ve established throughout this process will continue.  I’ll do my best to pick up your calls on the first ring, and I’ll be a regular visitor to the Capitol.  Your counsel and support will, if I’m confirmed, be critical to my leadership of the Department of State.”

On Serving Alongside the Men & Women of the CIA:

“To the men and women of the CIA: To say that it has been an honor, a privilege, and a joy doesn’t do justice to the gratitude I feel to have served as your leader.  I’ve demanded much over the last 15 months, setting expectations high.  I’ve pushed responsibility and authority through the organization to every officer and, along with that, the required accountability.  And you, the warriors of the CIA, have delivered—for America, for President Trump, and for me.”

On Setting the Mission & Empowering the Diplomatic Corps:

“Throughout my time in Congress and at the CIA, I’ve met hundreds of State Department leaders and officers, and I’ve met even more over the past month.  In a recent series of Department briefings with team members at State, they all, to a person, expressed a hope to be empowered in their roles, and to have a clear understanding of the President’s mission.  That will be my first priority.  They also shared how demoralizing it is to have so many vacancies and, frankly, not to feel relevant.  I’ll do my part to end the vacancies, but I’ll need your help.  And I will work every day to provide dedicated leadership and convey my faith in their work—just as I have done with my workforce at the CIA.”

On Strengthening the Workforce Culture and Communication at the State Department:

“The State Department’s workforce must, by necessity, be diverse in every sense of the word—in terms of race, religion, background, and more.  I’ll work to achieve that diversity, just as I have successfully done at CIA, by focusing on mission and demanding that every team member be treated equally and with dignity and respect.

But there is one more ingredient critical to our success—and that is listening to and working alongside each of you and your staffs.  I have used, at CIA, the model former Director Panetta suggested to me:  fewer hearings, more cups of coffee; shorter conversations, more frequently.  I found it most useful with your colleagues on SSCI and hope that you, too, will find it valuable.

All of this—listening, leveraging differences, unleashing talent, teamwork—will become the fabric of a State Department culture that finds its swagger once again.  We will be effective, expeditionary, diverse, and successful in fulfilling our mission.”

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Solomon Tembang
Solomon Tembang, a prominent journalist and an editor based in Cameroon’s capital city, Yaounde, is Today News Africa correspondent in Cameroon.

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