Rex Wayne Tillerson (born March 23, 1952) is an American engineer and energy executive who served as the 69th U.S. secretary of state from February 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, under President Donald Trump.[1][2][3] Prior to joining the Trump administration, Tillerson was chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of ExxonMobil, holding that position from 2006 until 2017.

Quick facts: Rex Tillerson, 69th United States Secretary o...
Rex Tillerson
Official portrait, 2017
69th United States Secretary of State
In office
February 1, 2017  March 31, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
DeputyJohn Sullivan
Preceded byJohn Kerry
Succeeded byMike Pompeo
CEO of ExxonMobil
In office
Preceded byLee Raymond
Succeeded byDarren Woods
34th National President of the Boy Scouts of America
In office
Preceded byJohn Gottschalk
Succeeded byWayne M. Perry
Personal details
Rex Wayne Tillerson

(1952-03-23) March 23, 1952 (age 70)
Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
  • Jamie Lee Henry
    (m. 1974, divorced)
  • Renda St. Clair
    (m. 1986)
EducationUniversity of Texas at Austin (BS)
OccupationCEO of ExxonMobil (2006–2016)
President of the Boy Scouts of America (2010–2012)
AwardsEagle Scout (1965)
Order of Friendship (2013)
Dewhurst Award (2017)

Tillerson began his career as a civil engineer with Exxon in 1975 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. By 1989 he had become general manager of the Exxon USA central production division. In 1995 he became president of Exxon Yemen Inc. and Esso Exploration and Production Khorat Inc. In 2006 Tillerson was elected chair and chief executive of ExxonMobil, the world's sixth-largest company by revenue.[4][5] Tillerson retired from ExxonMobil effective January 1, 2017.[6]

Tillerson is a longtime volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. From 2010 to 2012, he was the national president of the Boy Scouts, its highest non-executive position. He is a longtime contributor to Republican campaigns, but did not donate to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. In 2014, Tillerson, who had made business deals on behalf of ExxonMobil with Russia, opposed the sanctions against Russia.[7] He has previously been the director of the joint United States-Russia oil company Exxon Neftegas.[8][9]

Tillerson became Secretary of State on February 1, 2017. An unconventional choice for the role, Tillerson's tenure was characterized by a lack of visibility in comparison to his predecessors in the traditionally high-profile position of Secretary of State.[10][11][12] During Tillerson's tenure, new applications to work for the Foreign Service fell by 50 percent, and four of the six career ambassadors as well as 14 of the 33 career ministers, equivalent to military four- and three-star generals, departed.[13][14] After their relationship deteriorated, Trump dismissed Tillerson in March 2018, making his tenure one of the shortest in recent history but not as short as Lawrence Eagleburger under President George H. W. Bush and Edmund Muskie under President Carter. Tillerson was replaced by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo.[15][16]

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