Pompeo warns diversity chief who espoused anti-American ‘Marxist dogma’ will ‘destroy the State Department’

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the State Department’s new senior DEI hire will “destroy” the foreign affairs agency and make America “less safe” in an interview Friday with Fox News Digital. 

Zakiya Carr Johnson was hired by the State Department last week as chief officer of diversity, equity and inclusion. Fox News Digital exposed her past anti-American remarks, including her saying the U.S. represented a “failed historical model” embedded with racism, colonialism and other isms. Carr Johnson has also called for tradition to be dismantled. 

Pompeo believes Carr Johnson’s hire was part of the “Biden administration’s core commitment… to inflict a divisive, un-American, Marxist dogma on the American people.” 

“I don’t think [the State Department] frankly believes it. I think they’re catering to the progressive left of their base in an election year, and the harm is that they will destroy the State Department in this way, and, frankly, the capacity of America to deliver the diplomacy that other nations around the world are counting on,” he told Fox News Digital.

Pompeo added that years ago he “never would have dreamed” such divisive language would be embraced in the federal government. 

“So this progressive [movement]… becoming so radicalized is something that has moved very quickly, spread rapidly, and if not put in check will only continue to metastasize in ways that undermine our republic,” he said. 

The State Department has doubled down in defending Carr Johnson, touting her as an expert in the field of DEI. 


Pompeo stressed that “America should not be represented by individuals who hate America” like Carr Johnson. 

When asked about Carr Johnson’s hiring at Thursday’s press briefing by Fox News’ Griff Jenkins, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller responded that there are “different ways to love America.”

However, Pompeo explained that was simply the State Department’s spin and not reflective of Carr Johnson’s verbatim statements. 

“She doesn’t say she loves America. Only the State Department spokesperson said that she loves America. What she said is that America is a broken model, and when she stares at America, she sees the ‘1619 Project,’” he said. 

The 1619 Project is essentially a perspective of America’s founding through the lens of critical race theory

Pompeo believes Carr Johnson will have a demoralizing effect on State Department staff and cause talent to leave. 

“She will have her hand in promotions,” he said. “So think about this: You’re a young Foreign Service Officer, and you’re hoping that you’ll get promoted to the next level and get an assignment in a country that you want to be in. And she says, ‘No, we can’t pick you because you didn’t say the right thing about your pronouns,’ or ‘You didn’t say the right thing about diversity, equity and inclusion.’ Or ‘You happen to be White or Asian, so you’re not in the favored group.’ And therefore now you can’t get promoted.”

“Imagine anything more discouraging for people who are working hard on behalf of our country at the State Department,” Pompeo continued.

“Instead of looking at individuals, the Marxists see groups. They see division. They don’t see accumulated growth. They see how it is that we can gain power over other people in a way that is unrelated to any true merit,” he said. “We shouldn’t be looking for a State Department that is divided by race or by gender or by sexuality. Those are big mistakes that will harm American diplomacy and, frankly, make every American less safe.” 

Under Biden, the State Department implemented a mandate that all employees must show through documentation that they are committed to DEI in order to be eligible for a promotion or higher pay, Fox News Digital reported Thursday

Pompeo called the policy “dangerous.” 

“When I hear someone say that the State Department is now requiring – forcing – people to speak about a certain set of issues in a way that they may or may not agree with, that’s really kind of a dangerous place for a nation to find itself in,” he said. “To think that the senior leadership at the State Department would condone something like that, I find it antithetical to my understanding of what has made America such a special, exceptional nation.”

“When I was the Secretary of State, we told people, ‘You’re going to get promoted when you deliver good outcomes on behalf of the United States of America, real diplomatic success, real technical success,’” Pompeo continued. “We didn’t care what race you were. We didn’t care if you mouthed the right words. None of those things were relevant to promotions and hiring. We were looking for talent.”