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WASHINGTON, D.C. — President-elect Donald Trump announced Dec. 13 that he will nominate Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state, calling him one of the most accomplished "international dealmakers in the world," reported the Associated Press.
Trump pointed to Tillerson's ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his experience dealing with foreign governments as points in his favor.
"Rex Tillerson's career is the embodiment of the American dream," Trump said in a released statement. "Through hard work, dedication and smart dealmaking, Rex rose through the ranks to become CEO of Exxon Mobil, one of the world's largest and most respected companies."
Tillerson stated in an accompanying release that he is honored by the selection and shares Trump's "vision for restoring the credibility of the United States' foreign relations and advancing our country's national security."
Tillerson's connections to Putin and the CIA's recent assessment that Russia interfered with the presidential election are likely to come under scrutiny during the confirmation process, according to senators such as Florida's Marco Rubio and South Carolina's Lindsey Graham.
After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Tillerson joined Exxon Mobil as a production engineer in 1975 and has spent his entire career with the company. He previously served in roles at the company's operations in the central United States, Yemen and Russia.