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John Kerry Has a Big Staff, $16.5M Budget


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Real Clear Investigations

John Kerry, former Secretary of State and current special presidential envoy for climate, has a big staff and an even bigger budget, employing at least 45 employees with a budget of $16.5 million, according to Judicial Watch.


Freedom of Information Act requests from both Judicial Watch and Real Clear Investigations revealed this information, which was not made public until ordered by the courts. This lack of transparency frustrated some members of Congress, with Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) threatening to subpoena additional records, which Kerry has said will not be released until October 2024.

The organizational chart from the FOIA request shows Kerry has 8 full time employees, 28 temporary direct hires, 3 detailees, 2 fellows, 1 Intergovernmental Personnel Act position, and 3 contractors. Functions performed by these employees are wide ranging, from a liaison to the National Climate Task Force to a private finance and multinational corporate strategy team.

Real Clear Investigations found Kerry’s office received $16.5 million in 2022, but couldn’t get the government to explain how that money was spent. The State Department has said it can’t comply with that request until April 2025, after this presidential term ends.

Because of the opacity surrounding Kerry’s schedule, budget, meetings, and travel, it’s not clear what he does in this position. The State Department says he is “charged with leading U.S. diplomacy to address the climate crisis” while his team “works to ensure that the United States actively engages on climate, including exercising strong U.S. leadership to increase global climate ambition.”:snip:

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