On Wednesday, December 13, President-elect Donald Trump officially announced his intention to nominate Rex Tillerson, the Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, to the position of U.S. Secretary of State. The pick was not entirely surprising, since President-elect Trump has already chosen several military generals and business executives to head top Cabinet posts. It does come with some controversy, however, because Rex Tillerson does have a personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a result of his business dealings.

Here are three reasons why Rex Tillerson will be a great Secretary of State.

Reason #1: Rex Tillerson is a successful business executive, not a career politician.

This reason gets to the heart of President-elect Trump’s successful candidacy for the highest office in the land. Instead of electing one of the standard political hacks that inhabit the swamp of Washington, D.C., the American people chose a successful business executive who shunned the political establishment to be the 45th president. In contrast with career politicians who are great at complaining about problems, business executives need to be able to make tough decisions and get results.

Since 2006, Rex Tillerson has been the Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, the richest publicly-traded energy company in the world. Having him as Secretary of State will be a refreshing change from Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, who helped to negotiate the horrible Iran Nuclear Deal, for example, and whose decisions have led to the rise of ISIS and to deteriorating relations with key allies like Israel. It requires great instincts and extraordinary managerial skills to run a $370 billion company, and those traits will serve Rex Tillerson well as our nation’s top diplomatic official. Just listen to what Newt Gingrich recently had to say on Fox News.

Reason #2: As an oil company executive, Rex Tillerson already understands international politics.

Fact: the world runs on oil. It is used to power vehicles, to harvest food, to produce electricity for homes and businesses, etc. In 2014, people around the world used an average of 91 million barrels of oil per day, and that number is steadily increasing. As the Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson has made big-time deals on every continent that humans permanently inhabit. In 2011, for example, he struck a deal worth as much as $500 billion with Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, which gave ExxonMobil access to a Russian part of the Arctic Ocean. Although the deal was scrapped in 2014 due to sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States, it was a great example of Rex Tillerson negotiating a complex deal with a foreign government. As President-elect Trump recently said in an interview with Fox News, Rex Tillerson is “a world-class player.” International relations are largely driven by oil, so it makes perfect sense to nominate the Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil to be the Secretary of State.

Reason #3: Rex Tillerson already knows many foreign leaders and their various strengths and weaknesses. 

During Rex Tillerson’s time at ExxonMobil, he has cultivated relationships with many prominent foreign leaders. For example, his 2011 deal with Rosneft strengthened a relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin that dates back to the 1990s, when Tillerson was working in Russia on behalf of ExxonMobil. As The Wall Street Journal put it, “In a sign of the close relationship, the Kremlin bestowed the country’s Order of Friendship decoration on Mr. Tillerson after he struck” the deal. Above all else, the Secretary of State has to be a great negotiator, and that requires knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the people sitting across the negotiating table. Rex Tillerson’s close relationships with foreign leaders should not be considered liabilities; they should be considered invaluable assets. He knows what makes people like Vladimir Putin tick, and that automatically puts him in a position of strength when making deals.

Rex Tillerson has the kind of strong personality and leadership style that has been sorely lacking in the State Department as of late. Once he is confirmed as the next Secretary of State, no longer will political hacks be negotiating deals with the world’s superpowers. We need someone who knows how to lead with strength and vision, how to negotiate great deals, and how to win for the United States. Rex Tillerson knows how to lead, negotiate, and win, and will be a great Secretary of State.

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