Top State Department staffer quits after three months

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 20: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks as he participates in a photo opportunity with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani at the State Department November 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. 

Alex Wong / Getty Images

After just three months on the job, a top State Department official from the private sector is calling it quits. 

Maliz Beams, State Department Counselor, was most recently the CEO of VOYA Financial Retirement Services, which is the largest publicly traded retirement company. Her departure signifies a major blow to Secretary Rex Tillerson's plans to restructure of the department, a project that Beams was in charge of.

When she arrived at State, Beams took the place of Ambassador Kristie Kenney, a career foreign service officer who had worked her way up to the highest rank in the department.

Beams "is stepping away from her role here at the Department of State and is returning to her home in Boston," said a State Department spokesperson. "We appreciate Maliz sharing her expertise with us over the past few months. We wish her the best of luck in her next venture."

Additionally, Frontis Wiggins, the department's Chief Information Officer, will be leaving the department later this month. He is a career foreign service officer, with 32 years of experience in the federal government, who had been in his current job since last year. His work includes overseeing many of the internal systems that the restructure seeks to modernize.

"The Trump administration has decimated the department. It is so sad. We just keep seeing people leave. No one can work here," explained one State Department employee.

A State Department Spokesperson said that Christine Ciccone will be stepping in for Beams, to lead the redesign effort and manage its daily activities. Meanwhile, the Principal Deputy Chief Information Officer will assume Wiggins' responsibilities.