The United States Department of State was created on July 27, 1789
as the Department of Foreign Affairs and given responsibility for
assigning and managing diplomatic personnel and US foreign affairs.
On September 15, 1789 Congress passed legislation that changed the name
to the Department of State and assigned it the tasks of receiving, publishing,
distributing, and preserving the laws of the US. It was also made responsible
for the custody of the Great Seal of the United States, for authenticating
documents containing Presidential appointments (such as Supreme Court justices),
and for preserving and protecting the papers and records of the Continental Congress.
On September 29, 1789, President George Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson as
the first United States Secretary of State.
Today's Department of State continues this mission, operating embassies and
consulates in most states the US has diplomatic relations with, managing
dozens of smaller governmental agencies with specific areas of responsibility, and
leading the process of forming and implementing American foreign policy. The Department
employees tens of thousands of people in the US and abroad and had a 2001 budget
appropriation of just under $10 billion.
The State Department is organized into a large number of individual
bureaus and offices, some of them reporting to the Secretary of State
and some reporting to one of six undersecretaries that has responsibility
for a certain functional area.
Bureaus and offices of the State Department reporting to the Secretary of State
- Office of the Secretary
- Comprises the Secretary of State, the Secretary's Chief of Staff, Deputy
Chief of Staff, and other administrative personnel. This office is
responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the Secretary of State.
This includes scheduling, political function planning, and travel.
- Executive Secretariat
- Responsible for co-ordination of internal Department affairs and relations
with the White House, Cabinet agencies, and the National Security Council.
Reports to the Secretary of State
- Policy Planning Staff
- Independent policy analysis for the Secretary of State.
- Office of Resources, Plans, and Policy
- Manages the international budget of the Department of State and
allocates State Department resources according to official
State Department priorities.
- Office of Protocol
- Advises the Secretary and the President on matters of international protocol.
Assists in planning, hosting, and officiating of ceremonial events for
foreign dignitaries. Also manages Blair House, the President's official guesthouse.
- Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism
- Development and implementation of US international terrorism and counterterrorism policy.
- Office of the Permanent Representative to the United Nations
- Responsible for developing, implementing, and supporting US policy at the
- Bureau of Legislative Affairs
- Liaison between State Department and Congress.
- Office of the Inspector General
- Independent auditor of all activities of the State Department.
- Office of the Legal Advisor
- Provides advice on all legal matters, whether domestic or international,
that arise as part of the State Department's mission.
In addition to the offices listed above there are six undersecretaries
that report to the Secretary of State. Each of them manages a particular functional
area and is in charge of a broad array of offices and bureaus designed to support
their particular mission.
- Political Affairs
- Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs
- Arms Control and International Security
- Global Affairs
- Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
Under Secretary of Political Affairs
This office provides crises management and limited intelligence
to the State Department. It is organized into seven bureaus,
six broken out along geographic lines and one focusing on international
Bureaus and offices reporting to the Undersecretary of Political Affairs
Under Secretary of Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs
This under secretary is the senior economic official at the State Department.
He advises on international economic policy and manages the Department's efforts
on trade, agriculture, and bilateral economic relations.
Bureaus and offices reporting to the Under Secretary of Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs
- Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs
Manages US policy in several security related areas including nonproliferation,
arms control, defense relations, and arms transfer (selling of munitions and
items categorized as munitions, such as cryptography software).
Bureaus and offices reporting to the Under Secretary of Arms Control and International Security
Under Secretary for Management
Administrative support for the State Department. Responsible for
IT infrastructure, support services for
domestic and overseas staff, recruitment, personnel, benefits,
and other human resources functions.
Bureaus and offices reporting to the Under Secretary of Management
- Office of Management Policy and Planning
- Chief Information Officer
- Foreign Service Institute
- Director of Human Resources
- Bureau of Administration
- Bureau of Consular Affairs
- Bureau of Diplomatic Security
- Bureau of Financial Management and Policy
Under Secretary for Global Affairs
Coordinates, develops, and plans US foreign relations on issues
including human rights, narcotics control, environmental issues,
and population, refugees and migration.
Bureaus and offices reporting to the Under Secretary of Global Affairs
- Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
- Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
- Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
- Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
Responsible for cultural, diplomatic, and educational exchange with other nations.
Bureaus and offices reporting to the Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
- Bureau of Public Affairs
- Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
- Office of International Information Programs
Secretaries of State
- Thomas Jefferson, 1789-1793
- Edmund Randolph, 1794-1795
- Timothy Pickering, 1795-1800
- John Marshall, 1800-1801
- James Madison, 1801-1809
- Robert Smith, 1809-1811
- James Monroe, 1811-1817
- John Quincy Adams, 1817-1825
- Henry Clay, 1825-1829
- Martin Van Buren, 1826-1831
- Edward Livingston, 1831-1833
- Louis McLane, 1833-1834
- John Forsyth, 1834-1841
- Daniel Webster, 1841-1843
- Abel P. Upshur, 1843-1844
- John C. Calhoun, 1843-1845
- James Buchanan, 1845-1849
- John M. Clayton, 1849-1850
- Daniel Webster, 1850-1852
- Edward Everett, 1852-1853
- William L. Marcy, 1853-1857
- Lewis Cass, 1853-1860
- Jeremiah S. Black, 1860-1861
- William H. Seward, 1861-1869
- Elihu B. Washburne, 1869
- Hamilton Fish, 1869-1877
- William M. Evarts, 1877-1881
- James G. Blaine, 1881
- Frederick T. Frelinghuysen, 1881-1885
- Thomas F. Bayard, 1885-1889
- James G. Blaine, 1889-1892
- John W. Foster, 1892-1893
- Walter Q. Gresham, 1893-1895
- Richard Olney, 1895-1897
- John Sherman, 1897-1898
- William R. Day, 1898
- John Hay, 1898-1905
- Elihu Root, 1905-1909
- Robert Bacon, 1909
- Philander C. Knox, 1909-1913
- William Jennings Bryan, 1913-1915
- Robert Lansing, 1915-1920
- Bainbridge Colby, 1920-1921
- Charles Evans Hughes, 1921-1925
- Frank B. Kellogg, 1925-1929
- Henry Lewis Stimson, 1929-1933
- Cordell Hull, 1933-1944
- Edward R.Stettinius, Jr., 1944-1945
- James F. Byrnes, 1945-1947
- George C. Marshall, 1947-1949
- Dean G. Acheson, 1949-1953
- John Foster Dulles, 1953-1959
- Christian A. Herter, 1959-1961
- Dean Rusk, 1961-1969
- William P. Rogers 1969-1973
- Henry A. Kissinger, 1973-1977
- Cyrus Vance, 1977-1980
- Edmund Sixtus Muskie, 1980-1981
- Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr., 1981-1982
- George P. Shultz, 1982-1989
- James Addison Baker, III, 1989-1992
- Lawrence S. Eagleburger,1992-1993
- Warren M. Christopher, 1993-1997
- Madeleine K. Albright, 1997-2001
- Colin L. Powell, 2001-