Who is Rex Tillerson? Rex Tillerson is an American businessman who worked as the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of ExxonMobil, the nation’s largest oil company form 2006 to 2016. Tillerson is President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of State.
Tillerson has been one of the more controversial cabinet nominations for a number of reasons. Most notably, Tillerson has been criticized for his ties to Russia – further fueling the drama of the Trump-Putin saga dominated the transition period. Furthermore former Republican nominee and Arizona Sen. John McCain has been highly skeptical of Tillerson, saying “I and several of my colleagues have concerns about Mr. Tillerson and some of his past activities, specifically his relationship with Vladimir Putin.” Tillerson received the Order of Friendship from Putin in 2013.
While Tillerson is one of a few of Trump’s nominees who does not have experience working in the public sector, Trump praised Tillerson for being “the embodiment of the American Dream,” who has the “tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics.” As a global business leader, Tillerson has dealt with heads of state around the world, like Russia, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.