John Kerry’s Office Costs Taxpayers More Than $4 Million Annually In Salaries, But Still Won’t Disclose Staff Names

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Nick Pope Contributor
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Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry specified the salaries of his staffers, but refused to disclose their names in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Boston Herald.

Kerry’s office disclosed that it costs American taxpayers at least $4.3 million each year, but it redacted the names of every person who works on his staff and the official titles of several employees, according to the Herald. Some of Kerry’s aides take home salaries of up to $186,000.

Kerry and his office have come under fire for a perceived lack of transparency in the past, and he has previously refused to answer questions about the personnel he has working for him, including in front of Congress. House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer is also probing potential collusion between Kerry’s office and hardline environmental groups, specifically pertaining to a coalition of environmentalist groups known as the Powering Past Coal Alliance. (RELATED: John Kerry Brushes Off Question About Uyghur Genocide: ‘Life Is Always Full Of Tough Choices’)

The State Department told the Herald that they opted to redact the names of staffers and some of their titles because they “considered the foreseeable harm standard” when putting together their response to the outlet’s FOIA request. Additionally, releasing the names of Kerry’s staffers “would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of an individual’s personal privacy,” James Rosenbaum, the head of statutory compliance for the State Department, told the Herald.

The titles that Kerry’s office did disclose include positions like “policy analyst” and “senior policy advisor,” according to the documents obtained by the Herald.

Marty Walsh, the former labor secretary, disclosed the names, pay and titles of his staffers when his agency responded to a similar FOIA request in the summer of 2023, according to the Herald.

Kerry reportedly told the Herald that he will not offer comprehensive details about his staff until October, about a month before the upcoming presidential election.

Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki spent much of her first press conference declaring the administration’s intent to restore transparency and trust in government operations on January 20, 2021. The White House also required that “every appointee in every executive agency” sign an ethics pledge to demonstrate the administration’s wider push “designed to restore and maintain public trust in government.”

Neither Kerry’s office nor the White House responded immediately to requests for comment.

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