The Secretary of State is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America, and as head of the United States Department of State, is principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government's equivalent of a Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The Secretary of State is nominated by the President of the United States and, following a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, is confirmed by the United States Senate. The Secretary of State, along with the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, and Attorney General, are generally regarded as the four most important Cabinet members because of the importance of their respective departments. Secretary of State is a Level I position in the Executive Schedule and thus earns the salary prescribed for that level (currently $210,700).
The current Secretary of State is Mike Pompeo, who previously served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Pompeo replaced Rex Tillerson whom President Trump dismissed on March 13, 2018. Tillerson's last day at the State Department was March 31, 2018. Pompeo was confirmed by the Senate on April 26, 2018 and was sworn in later that day.
|United States Secretary of State|
Seal of the Secretary of State
Flag of the Secretary of State
since April 26, 2018
|United States Department of State|
National Security Council
|Reports to||President of the United States|
with Senate advice and consent
|Constituting instrument||22 U.S.C. § 2651|
|Precursor||Secretary of Foreign Affairs|
|Formation||July 27, 1789|
|First holder||Thomas Jefferson|
|Deputy||Deputy Secretary of State|
|Salary||Executive Schedule, level I|
The stated duties of the Secretary of State are as follows:
The original duties of the Secretary of State include some domestic duties such as:
Most of the domestic functions of the Department of State have been transferred to other agencies. Those that remain include storage and use of the Great Seal of the United States, performance of protocol functions for the White House, and the drafting of certain proclamations. The Secretary also negotiates with the individual States over the extradition of fugitives to foreign countries. Under Federal Law, the resignation of a president or of a vice president is only valid if declared in writing, in an instrument delivered to the office of the secretary of state. Accordingly, the resignations in disgrace of President Nixon and of Vice-President Spiro Agnew, domestic issues, were formalized in instruments delivered to the then Secretary of State.
As the highest-ranking member of the cabinet, the secretary of state is the third-highest official of the executive branch of the Federal Government of the United States, after the president and vice president, and is fourth in line to succeed the presidency, coming after the vice president, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President pro tempore of the Senate. Six secretaries of state have gone on to be elected president. Others, including Henry Clay, William Seward, James Blaine, William Jennings Bryan, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton have been unsuccessful presidential candidates, either before or after their term of office as Secretary of State.
The nature of the position means that Secretaries of State engage in travel around the world. The record for most countries visited in a secretary's tenure is 112 by Hillary Clinton. Second is Madeleine Albright with 96. The record for most air miles traveled in a secretary's tenure is 1,417,576 miles by John Kerry. Second is Condoleezza Rice's 1,059,247 miles, and third is Clinton's 956,733 miles.
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
Ambassadors from the United States
(while at their posts)
| Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of State
Ambassadors to the United States
(in order of tenure)
Otherwise Barack Obama
as Former President
Otherwise António Guterres
as Secretary-General of the United Nations
|U.S. presidential line of succession|
President pro tempore of the Senate
|4th in line||Succeeded by|
Secretary of the Treasury
For the first time in their history, the Whigs held a national convention to determine their presidential candidate. It opened in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on December 4, 1839, almost a full year before the general election. After Daniel Webster dropped out of the race, the three leading candidates were General William Henry Harrison, a war hero, former senator and ambassador, and the most successful of Van Buren's opponents in the 1836 election, who had been campaigning for the Whig nomination ever since; General Winfield Scott, a hero of the War of 1812 who had been active in skirmishes with the British in 1837 and 1838; and Senator Henry Clay, the Whigs' congressional leader and former Speaker of the House and United States Secretary of State.Blaine County, Montana
Blaine County is a county in the U.S. state of Montana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 6,491. Its county seat is Chinook. The county was named for James G. Blaine, former United States Secretary of State. It is on the north line of the state, and thus shares the southern border of Canada.Christian Herter
Christian Archibald Herter (March 28, 1895 – December 30, 1966) was an American politician who was the 59th Governor of Massachusetts from 1953 to 1957 and United States Secretary of State from 1959 to 1961.Electoral history of Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, served as the 67th United States Secretary of State (2009–2013), United States Senator from New York (2001–2009), and First Lady of the United States (1993–2001). She was also a candidate in the 2008 and 2016 Democratic presidential primaries. In 2016, Clinton was her party's presidential candidate; she won the national popular vote in that election by nearly 3 million votes, but her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, won the Electoral College and thus the presidency.Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women
Since 2004, Forbes has compiled a list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. It is edited by notable Forbes journalists, including Moira Forbes, and is based on visibility and economic impact. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has remained at the top spot since 2006, with the brief exception of 2010 where she was temporarily supplanted by then U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles (; February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) was an American diplomat. A Republican, he served as United States Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world.
Born in Washington, D.C., Dulles joined the New York City law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell after graduating from George Washington University Law School. His grandfather, John W. Foster, and his uncle, Robert Lansing, both served as United States Secretary of State, while his brother, Allen Dulles, served as the Director of Central Intelligence from 1953 to 1961. John Foster Dulles served on the War Industries Board during World War I and he was a U.S. legal counsel at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. He became a member of the League of Free Nations Association, which supported American membership in the League of Nations. Dulles also helped design the Dawes Plan, which sought to stabilize Europe by reducing German war reparations.
Dulles served as the chief foreign policy adviser to Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican presidential nominee in 1944 and 1948. He also helped draft the preamble to the United Nations Charter and served as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. In 1949, Dewey appointed Dulles to fill the Senate vacancy caused by the resignation of Sen. Robert F. Wagner. He served for four months but left office after being defeated in a special election by Herbert H. Lehman.
After Eisenhower won the 1952 presidential election, he chose Dulles as Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, Dulles concentrated on building and strengthening Cold War alliances, most prominently the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He was the architect of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, an anti-Communist defensive alliance between the United States and several nations in and near Southeast Asia. He also helped instigate the 1953 Iranian coup d'état and the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état. He favored a strategy of massive retaliation in response to Soviet aggression. He advocated support of the French in their war against the Viet Minh in Indochina but rejected the Geneva Accords that France and the communists agreed to, and instead supported South Vietnam after the Geneva Conference in 1954. Suffering from colon cancer, Dulles resigned from office in 1959 and died later that year.John J. Sullivan (diplomat)
John Joseph Sullivan (born November 20, 1959) is an American lawyer and government official serving as the 19th and current United States Deputy Secretary of State since 2017. A member of the Republican Party, Sullivan served as Acting United States Secretary of State from April 1, 2018 to April 26, 2018, following President Donald Trump's dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 13, 2018, until Tillerson's official successor, Mike Pompeo, was sworn in. Tillerson did not officially leave office until March 31, 2018. Sullivan, however, was delegated all responsibilities of the Secretary of State beginning March 13.Seward Mountain (New York)
Seward Mountain is a mountain located in Franklin County, New York, of which it is the highest point.
Seward Mtn. is named after William H. Seward (1801–1872), Governor of New York (1839–1842), and United States Secretary of State (1861–1869).
The mountain is part of the Seward Mountains of the Adirondacks.
Seward Mountain is flanked to the southwest by Donaldson Mountain, and to the east faces Seymour Mountain across Ouluska Pass.
Seward Mountain stands within the watershed of the Raquette River, which drains into the Saint Lawrence River in Canada, and into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
The southeast slopes of Seward Mtn. drain into Seward Brook, thence into the Cold River, a tributary of the Raquette River.
The west end of Seward Mtn. drains into Calkins Brook, thence into the Raquette River.
The northern slopes of Seward drain into Ward Brook, thence into Ampersand Lake, Ampersand Brook, Stony Creek, and the Raquette River.
Seward Mountain is within the High Peaks Wilderness Area of New York's Adirondack Park.Seward Peninsula
The Seward Peninsula is a large peninsula on the western coast of the U.S. state of Alaska. It projects about 320 kilometers (200 mi) into the Bering Sea between Norton Sound, the Bering Strait, the Chukchi Sea, and Kotzebue Sound, just below the Arctic Circle. The entire peninsula is about 330 kilometers (210 mi) long and 145 km (90 mi)-225 km (140 mi) wide. Like Seward, Alaska, it was named after William H. Seward, the United States Secretary of State who fought for the U.S. purchase of Alaska.
The Seward Peninsula is a remnant of the Bering land bridge, a roughly thousand mile wide swath of land connecting Siberia with mainland Alaska during the Pleistocene Ice Age. This land bridge aided in the migration of humans, as well as plant and animal species from Asia to North America. Archeological discoveries throughout the Chukotka Peninsula and Seward Peninsula show proof that Inupiat people have been living in the region for thousands of years. Excavations at sites such as the Trail Creek Caves and Cape Espenberg in the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve as well as Cape Denbigh to the south have provided insight into the timeline of prehistorical migrations from Asia to the Seward Peninsula.Shuttle diplomacy
In diplomacy and international relations, shuttle diplomacy is the action of an outside party in serving as an intermediary between (or among) principals in a dispute, without direct principal-to-principal contact. Originally and usually, the process entails successive travel ("shuttling") by the intermediary, from the working location of one principal, to that of another.
The term was first applied to describe the efforts of United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, beginning November 5, 1973, which facilitated the cessation of hostilities following the Yom Kippur War.
Negotiators often use shuttle diplomacy when one or both of two principals refuses recognition of the other prior to mutually desired negotiation.
Mediators have adopted the term "shuttle diplomacy" as well.United Nations Security Council Resolution 1403
United Nations Security Council resolution 1403, adopted unanimously on 4 April 2002, after recalling resolutions 1397 (2002) and 1402 (2002), the Council demanded the implementation of Resolution 1402 by the Israeli and Palestinian sides.The Security Council expressed concern at the deteriorating situation on the ground and noted that Resolution 1402 had yet to be implemented. It demanded its immediate implementation and welcomed the visit of the United States Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region and efforts by envoys from Russia, the United States, European Union and United Nations Special Coordinator to bring about a durable resolution to the conflict in the Middle East.The Secretary-General Kofi Annan was instructed to keep the Council informed on developments in the situation.United Nations Security Council Resolution 1888
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1888 was unanimously adopted on 30 September 2009. It was introduced by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who also presided over the session. The resolution established the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues
The United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues is the head of the Office of Global Criminal Justice in the United States Department of State. The ambassador-at-large advises the United States Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights directly and formulates U.S. policy responses to atrocities committed in areas of conflict and elsewhere throughout the world. As the President’s envoy, this Ambassador travels worldwide engaging heads of state and international organizations to build bilateral and international support for U.S. policies. As part of this, the Ambassador visits affected countries and engages a range of diplomatic, legal, economic, military, and intelligence tools to help secure peace and stability and build the rule of law. As the head of the Office of Global Criminal Justice, this Ambassador also has the rank of Assistant Secretary.David Scheffer served as the first U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues (1997–2001). He was followed by Pierre-Richard Prosper (2001–2005), and John Clint Williamson (2006–2009).In July 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Stephen Rapp, a former United States Attorney and prosecutor for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone, to succeed John Clint Williamson as Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues. The Senate confirmed him on September 8, 2009, making Rapp the fourth person to hold the title.United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
The United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons is the head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in the United States Department of State. The ambassador-at-large advises the United States Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights directly and formulates U.S. policy on human trafficking. As the head of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, this Ambassador also has the rank of Assistant Secretary.Nancy Ely-Raphel served as the first U.S. Ambassador-at-Large (2001–2002). She was followed by John R. Miller (2002–2006), Mark P. Lagon (2007–2009) and Luis CdeBaca (2009-2014).
The current Ambassador-at-Large is Susan P. Coppedge, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2015.United States Deputy Secretary of State
The Deputy Secretary of State of the United States is the principal deputy to the Secretary of State. If the Secretary of State resigns or dies, the Deputy Secretary of State becomes Acting Secretary of State until the President nominates and the Senate confirms a replacement. The position was created in 1972. Prior to July 13, 1972, the Under Secretary of State had been the second ranking officer of the Department of State. The position is held by John J. Sullivan.
The State Department is the only federal Cabinet-level agency with two co-equal Deputy Secretaries. (See Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.) This Deputy Secretary of State office is the "first assistant" for the purposes of the Vacancies Reform Act, but both Deputy Secretaries have full delegated authority to act for the Secretary, if not otherwise prohibited by law.United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs
The United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs was a position that existed in the United States government from January 10, 1781, to September 15, 1789.Walter Q. Gresham
Walter Quintin Gresham (March 17, 1832 – May 28, 1895) was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and of the United States Circuit Courts for the Seventh Circuit and previously was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Indiana. He served as Postmaster General of the United States and United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Chester A. Arthur and as United States Secretary of State under President Grover Cleveland.William P. Rogers
William Pierce Rogers (June 23, 1913 – January 2, 2001) was an American politician, diplomat, and lawyer. He served as United States Attorney General under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and United States Secretary of State under President Richard Nixon. Despite Rogers being a close confidant of Nixon, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger overshadowed Rogers and eventually succeeded him as Secretary of State.William R. Day
William Rufus Day (April 17, 1849 – July 9, 1923) was an American diplomat and jurist, who served for nineteen years as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Prior to his service on the Supreme Court, Day served as the 36th United States Secretary of State during the administration of President William McKinley and also served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States Circuit Courts for the Sixth Circuit.
|Secretary of Foreign Affairs|
|Secretary of State|
Agencies under the United States Department of State
|Deputy Secretary of State and|
Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources
|Under Secretary for|
|Under Secretary for|
Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment
|Under Secretary for|
Arms Control and International Security Affairs
|Under Secretary for|
Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
|Under Secretary for|
|Under Secretary for|
Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights
reporting directly to the Secretary
Leaders of the United States federal executive departments
* Ineligible to act as president