Posted by Kristin McCarthy on January 09, 2017 in Blog

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Rex Tillerson will will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, January 11th at 9:00am.

Watch online here

Rex Tillerson has served 10 years as the CEO of ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company. During Tillerson’s tenure at Exxon he oversaw global operations and negotiated business deals with foreign governments and major international conglomerates. 

The Secretary of State serves as the President's chief foreign affairs adviser and is responsible for strategically developing diplomatic relations with countries around the world and promoting American values as well as interests abroad. The Secretary carries out the President's foreign policies and frequently engages in negotiations over armed conflict, human rights issues, incidents involving Americans abroad, and more. If confirmed, Tillerson would oversee the vast foreign service of Ambassadors, Embassy staff, special envoys, negotiation teams, and more.

With such importance in an administration that has stated it will take an acutely different diplomatic tact than President Obama, we have serious questions about Mr. Tillerson’s qualifications and vision for the U.S. Department of State’s agenda moving forward. Because Mr. Tillerson has virtually no public position on many of the most important foreign affairs he will be managing, save his friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin noted by many, we want him to answer: 

  • How will you advance American ideals of democracy, freedom, and respect for human rights with our allies whose records are unsatisfactory on these accounts? 
  • How will you advance the U.S. diplomatic role in resolving the Syrian conflict? What is your vision for Syria’s political future?
  • With regard to Egypt, how will you support both the security of the country as well as the freedom of civil society to challenge their government for more rights, democratic reform, economic policy changes, and more?
  • How will you advance the U.S. diplomatic role in resolving the conflict in Yemen?
  • How will you engage the current President of Iraq and what will you be pushing for in terms of political reforms?
  • Do you support the two-state-solution as the only viable political solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians? What is your view of the impact of Israeli settlements and continued occupation on the viability of a two-state solution? How will you direct your Ambassador and negotiators to advance U.S. interests in resolving the conflict? 
  • How will you conduct humanitarian assistance programs for Iraqi and Syrian refugees?
  • How will you provide support for American allies like Lebanon and Jordan who are struggling to absorb massive refugee populations from neighboring countries?