Global Witness Responds to U.S. Senate Committee Vote on Rex Tillerson

Washington, DC — Today, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations voted in favor of making Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil, the most powerful diplomat in the U.S. Global Witness raised serious concerns that this appointment would pose a grave threat to both US and global security.

On Mr. Tillerson’s watch, ExxonMobil was at the forefront of efforts to gut laws to fight corruption in the oil, gas and mining sector, and has been accused of purposefully misleading the public over climate change. Mr. Tillerson himself has been asked to testify about the role of fossil fuel companies and the government in causing climate change, as part of a lawsuit brought by children alleging their constitutional rights have been violated. Meanwhile, Global Witness has exposed how the company has repeatedly struck backroom deals with tyrannical regimes, fuelling instability around the world.

“Up to now the U.S. has been a global leader in fighting the corruption that has dogged the oil, gas and mining industry, not least because such abuses of power threaten global security. So to protect our country and its standing in the world, and to continue to promote human rights and fight corruption, we will keep a watchful eye on our new Secretary of State. As our top diplomat and global representative on climate, we must make sure he is putting our national interest, human rights and the futures of our children before the industry he’s devoted his entire working life to.” said Corinna Gilfillan, Head of Global Witness’ US office.

For additional information or to request an interview with a Global Witness spokesperson contact Andy Stepanian at 631.291.3010 or