Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has taken steps to improve his department's staffing situation by lifting a hiring freeze put in place by his predecessor.
CBS News cited an internal email that Pompeo sent to State Department employees on Tuesday, which explained that hiring for the Foreign Service and Civil Service is now open.
"Today, I am lifting the Department's hiring freeze on Foreign Service and Civil Service and authorizing the Department of State to hire to current funding levels," Pompeo wrote. "This will give our domestic bureaus and missions overseas the flexibility to fill positions that are essential to promoting the Department's mission and the United States' foreign policy goals worldwide on behalf of the American people."
The hiring freeze was put in place by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson early last year as he tried to assess the current status of the department and come up with ideas for improvement, including a reorganization.
Pompeo's action to lift the freeze included removing challenges that family members of State Department employees serving in overseas posts faced when trying to join their loved ones when they were transferred to other countries.
Pompeo had been serving as CIA director before he was confirmed and sworn in as America's top diplomat on April 26.
"The Department's workforce is our most valuable asset," Pompeo wrote in Tuesdays email, CBS reported. "We need our men and women on the ground, executing American diplomacy with great vigor and energy, and representing our great nation."
Pompeo's most pressing task at the moment is the upcoming peace summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
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