New diplomats exempted from Trump federal hiring freeze

MATTHEW LEE

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department says it has been granted an exemption from the Trump administration's hiring freeze on most federal employees. It will bring on 175 new diplomats.

The department says it had been authorized to hire 70 entry-level diplomats, 80 mid-level specialists and 25 consular fellows, which are non-foreign service officers who assist visa processing at U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. It says the new hires will "support critical essential functions in national security, international relations, public safety or public health."

Just three days after taking office, President Donald Trump ordered a government-wide hiring freeze. The freeze excluded the military, while allowing the Office of Personnel Management to grant exemptions elsewhere. At the State Department, there had been concern the freeze would affect staffing at critical diplomatic posts.