Fri | Dec 14, 2018

Tillerson Fact File - Who is US Secretary of State?

Published:Wednesday | February 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM
United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) listens to President Donald Trump speak during a cabinet meeting at the White House yesterday.

Full Name: Rex Wayne Tillerson

Place of Birth: Witchia Falls, Texas, USA

Residence: Irving, Texas

Date of Birth: March 23, 1952

Marital Status: Married to Renda St. Clair

Children : 4

Height: 5ft :10 ins

Grew up in : Texas and Oklahoma


High School-Graduated from Huntsville High School in 1970

College-Graduated from University of Texas, Austin in 1975

Profession: Civil Engineer

Net Worth: Secretary Tillerson is worth an estimated $300 + million

Retirement Package from Exxon Mobil at the end of 2016- An estimated $180 million

Employment History:

Employment at Exxon Mobil

- He went to work with Exxon Mobil Corporation upon graduation from U of T in 1975 as an engineer

- He spent his entire professional life at Exxon Mobil serving in various capacities until he was handpicked by the outgoing CEO Lee Raymond in 2006 to be his successor

- He served as Chairman and CEO of the Exxon Mobil Corporation from January 1st 2006-2016 until he resigned on December 16th 2016 to become Secretary of State after being selected by the then President-elect Trump

- As Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, Mr. Tillerson, was the Chief overseer of arguably the leading polluter of the environment and one of the major contributors to climate change in the world

- Secretary Tillerson as Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil supervised a corporation that has known from its own scientists for more than 40 years that the burning of fossil fuels caused climate change though they hid the science from the public

- Secretary Tillerson has been and remains a staunch climate change denier like his boss President Trump and the rest of his cabinet despite the more than 40 years of internal knowledge from Exxon own scientists that the burning of fossil fuels caused climate change

- Under Tillerson's leadership Exxon Mobil lost two lucrative concessions when the Chavez government in Venezuela nationalized the oil fields in 2007 no doubt resulting in lower profits for Exxon Mobil and no doubt bigger compensation packages for Tillerson himself.

- He became acquainted with Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, in the 1990s when he represented Exxon Mobil's oil interests in Russia

- Secretary Tillerson's former company Exxon Mobil will save an estimated $6 billion in tax payments as a result of Trump's recent Congressionally approved tax cut plan

- Secretary of State of the United States of America -

- Secretary Tillerson became the 69th US Secretary of State on February 1st 2017- Present

- He is the 1st US Secretary of State without any prior public or military experience

As the US' top diplomat, Secretary Tillerson has not dissociated himself from Trump's racist and xenophobic "Sh*#@hole comment" in reference to Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.

"You Never See Smoke Without Fire": Venezuela - A Major Foreign Policy Challenge for Secretary Tillerson

- Tillerson's hostility towards the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and its leader Maduro has a clear cut economic/political class basis, namely, the loss of energy resources and profits due to the nationalisation of fossil fuel resources in 2007 by Chavez's government,

- In a statement in a speech at his alma mater, the University of Texas, Tillerson called for a military coup to remove the constitutionally elected president, Nicholas Maduro, and urged Maduro to seek asylum in Cuba.

- Secretary Tillerson and US President Donald Trump have been considering the implementation of an oil embargo on Venezuela.

Some Other Foreign Policy Challenges for Secretary Tillerson and the US Empire

The US-North Korea Nuclear Conflict

- Secretary Tillerson notably called President Trump ' a f&*%ing moron' in a private meeting of officials in October 2017, reportedly over policy disagreements with his boss over North Korea.

The ongoing Syrian Conflict-ISIS

- Israeli-Palestinian Conflict made even worst by the US declaration of the contested city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

- The global role of Russia and China in Latin America/Caribbean, Africa, Asia

- Tillerson supported a 30 per cent reduction in the state department's budget proposed by the White House which has significantly cut the hiring of diplomats, international experts and other staffs to replace those retiring etc. There is a virtual freeze on hiring at the state department.

- He is effectively overseeing a downsizing of the state department in a context of rising international tensions as with the US and North Korea, the ongoing conflict in Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict among others

- Tillerson's foreign policy philosophy is, as he puts it, 'one of realism'. He believes that America should use its economic and military power as advantages in its negotiations with other countries in the global system.

-For Russia, he believes in 'a policy of containment' of its foreign policy ambitions as advocated by George Kennan, the strategic US geopolitical planner who shaped modern US foreign policy.

-Unlike President Trump, Secretary Tillerson supports the Iranian Deal because, according to him, America's commitment to international accords must have meaning except off course when the empire considers that its interests are threatened by any other country.

Contributed by Michael Heslop utilising online research