Top Business Leaders Urge Tillerson To Fill Women’s Rights Role At State

By Katie Glueck
McClatchy Washington Bureau

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues is tasked with leading the State Department office dedicated to women’s rights and empowerment. Like many positions in the Trump administration, it is currently vacant. Business leaders are now urging Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to choose someone to fill the vacant slot.


More than 40 business leaders representing major American companies are pressing the Trump administration to quickly name an ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson directs a reorganization of the diplomatic corps and is eager to slash the number of special envoys.

Current or former CEOs of companies including Accenture, Aetna Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Macy’s Inc., Xerox and Godiva Chocolatier have signed a letter bearing that message, which will be sent to Tillerson next week.

Also copied on the letter: President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

“We strongly urge you to quickly select qualified and experienced candidates for key leadership positions that focus on empowering women and girls globally,” reads the missive, reviewed by McClatchy. “The swift nomination (and confirmation) of the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State and the ongoing support for the USAID leadership focused on the empowerment of women and girls will help harness untapped potential as the U.S. seeks to achieve its foreign policy goals.”

The letter, also addressed to Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, USAID administrator Mark Green and deputy national security adviser for strategy Dina Powell, argues that it is in the nation’s business, security and leadership interests to fill the job and pursue “investments in women and girls.”

“Around the globe, people are looking to the U.S., trying to figure out what our policies are going to be, to what extent we’re going to break with the past, to what extent we’ll intentionally break with the policy of past administrations,” said Joe Keefe, the president and CEO of Pax World Management LLC, in an interview.

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