Trump administration incompetence has cost the State Department its top expert on sanctions: report
U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confer during a working lunch with African leaders during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, U.S. on September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

President Donald Trump's repeatedly insists that he wants to use harsh sanctions to force the hands of hostile governments — but the State Department's most experienced sanctions officials keep leaving.


As Foreign Policy reported, Friday marked the departure Joshua Black, the department's most experienced sanctions expert at the United Nations.

Though Black and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations did not comment on his reasoning for leaving, former and current officials said the counterterrorism expert "had grown disillusioned serving an administration that was contemptuous of multilateral institutions and that was tearing down a landmark nuclear deal he had personally participated in building."

The career official led the department's sanctions efforts for the past decade, and also served on the National Security Council until April 2017.

The end of Black's civil service career at the State Department came a few months after the closure of their dedicated sanctions office, which resulted in the Trump administration missing their Russia sanctions deadline by three weeks.

Black's team, according to an official FP spoke to, was "immensely important" and "essential" to the State Department.