293. Memorandum From President-Elect Nixon to Secretary of State-Designate Rogers1

At the beginning of a new Administration I believe that an analysis of the qualifications of all of our Ambassadors abroad, career as well [Page 664] as non-career, should be made. While the great majority of career men will probably be retained in their present posts, the beginning of a new Administration is a good time to move some of the dead wood out and to move some of the unqualified men from one post to a less sensitive one.

In my travels abroad I have, of course, seen the usual number of political appointees who weren’t qualified for the job they held, but I have also seen a number of career men who were pretty inadequate and who should be replaced.

I think a very hard-headed analysis should be made just as soon as we take over on January 20 so that any changes can be made within the first two or three months that we are in office. If we delay beyond that point we will be subject to the charge of being vindictive, personal or political. Changes at this time, of course, will be expected.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Executive Secretariat, Secretary Rogers Files: Lot 73 D 443, Personal Papers of William P. Rogers. No classification marking. A copy was sent to Kissinger. Printed from an unsigned copy.