‘Rank-and-file’ dissatisfaction with Rice at State Dept.

Within the State Department, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is “viewed by many rank-and-file empoyees as an aloof manager.” A recent American Foreign Service Association poll found that just 12 percent of officers “believe that…Rice is fighting for them.” The Washington Post has more on her mismanagement:

ricecle.jpg A third official who served under both secretaries recalled how, after an assistant secretary of state made a mistake resulting in several days of negative news coverage, Powell treated that person with civility. By contrast, the official said, Rice becomes angry over even minor news accounts, turning furiously to the relevant assistant secretary for an explanation. “Dressing someone down like that is not great for morale and does not encourage people to bring up bad news,” he said.

In a change that may have limited Rice’s exposure to the rest of the building, Rice moved news conferences to the fancier higher floors of State’s headquarters. While Powell held news media sessions outside — after escorting out foreign officials — Rice wanted a more dignified venue. Powell, after meeting with the media, chatted with workers in the lobby, reaching out to lower-level staff.