Campus Life

Secretary Of State Pompeo Urges Texas A&M Students To Consider Public Service

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared with a Texas A&M audience how the U.S. is dealing with situations in North Korea, Venezuela and Syria and reviewed the Corps of Cadets.
By Keith Randall, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications April 16, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged students to consider a career in public service and said the Department of State was a good place to start.

“The State Department has a long history of hiring people with a military background,” he said while speaking at Texas A&M University as part of the MSC Wiley Lecture Series. “And Texas A&M, with its great military history, could provide many great public service leaders just as West Point has done through the years.”

Pompeo, named Secretary of State not quite a year ago on April 26, 2018, graduated first in his class from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1986 before entering politics.

During his “Why Diplomacy Matters” lecture at Rudder Auditorium on the Texas A&M campus, Pompeo listed some of the world’s hot spots of unrest, such as Iran and North Korea, and specifically mentioned the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

“It is a humanitarian crisis that has been years in the making,” he said. “We have airlifted food, water, and medical supplies and not all of it is making it there because President (Nicolas) Maduro has blocked much of it. He is not letting aid into his own country. The people of Venezuela are suffering and we can only hope that Maduro will leave.”

Regarding North Korea, Pompeo said he “would like nothing more than to lift the sanctions there, which are toughest ever placed on any country in world history. I would love to see the sanctions lifted because it means we have been successful.”

Speaking about the present situation and years-long war in Syria, Pompeo noted that the country has been ravaged by years of war and is a shell of its former self.

“Over six million people in the country have been displaced by the war and moved to Turkey and other places,” Pompeo said.  “President Assad faces a determined world coalition against him.”

Pompeo added that one big challenge that the U.S. faces against terrorism and other threats is the technology used by anti-American forces.

“They are very good at using technology to their advantage,” he said. “Our paramount goal is always to provide the best possible information to the president so he can make a clear response to a situation.  We have to give him the best set of options.”

Of diplomatic work in general, Pompeo said we “want American businesses to be able to compete worldwide. Economic work is probably the most misunderstood of all we do at the State Department and our 180-plus American embassies around the world.”

“We also have a cultural exchange program with college students that is really outstanding,” Pompeo added. “They get to experience life-changing cultural programs, and these don’t make the front page of the newspaper.”

Pompeo, a native of California, directed the CIA before being appointed Secretary of State by President Trump. He holds degrees from West Point and Harvard Law School.

Related Stories

Recent Stories