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 who 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 of President Nixon and of Vice-President Spiro Agnew, domestic issues, were formalized in instruments delivered to the secretary of state, Henry Kissinger.
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.Clay County, Minnesota
Clay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 58,999. Its county seat is Moorhead. The county's name is in honor of American statesman Henry Clay, member of the United States Senate from Kentucky and United States Secretary of State in the 19th century. The county was formed in 1862 and organized in 1872. It was originally called Breckenridge County, but changed to its current name in 1862.
Clay County is part of the Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area.Clay County, Texas
Clay County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 10,752. The county seat is Henrietta. The county was founded in 1857 and later organized in 1860. It is named in honor of Henry Clay, famous American statesman, Kentucky Senator and United States Secretary of State.
Clay County is part of the Wichita Falls, Metropolitan Statistical Area in North Texas.
Several railroads once served Clay County, including the Wichita Falls Railway, one of the properties of Joseph A. Kemp and his brother-in-law Frank Kell, along with twenty-nine other stockholders. The Wichita Falls Railway linked Henrietta with Wichita Falls. Built in 1894-1895, it was sold in 1911 to the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, also known as the Katy. The original eighteen miles of track was abandoned in 1970.The Wichita Falls rancher, oilman, and philanthropist Joseph Sterling Bridwell owned a ranch in Clay County, among his multiple holdings.Clay County is represented in the Texas House of Representatives by the Republican James Frank, a businessman from Wichita Falls.Consulate General of the United States, Jerusalem
The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem is the diplomatic mission of United States of America to the State of Israel. In May 2018, the United States relocated its Tel Aviv embassy to Jerusalem. In mid-October 2018, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the Consulate General would be merged with the new US Embassy in Jerusalem and that relations with the Palestinians would be conducted through a special Palestinian Affairs Unit inside the Embassy.Exxon Neftegas
Exxon Neftegas Limited (also known as ENL; Russian: Эксон Нефтегаз Лимитед) is a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, an American oil and gas corporation. ENL is the operator of Sakhalin-I Consortium which is involved in exploration and production of oil and gas on Sakhalin Island (Russia) and offshore, in Chayvo, Odoptu and Arkutun-Dagi fields in the Sea of Okhotsk. The subsidiary is incorporated in the Bahamas and has an office in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.Former ExxonMobil CEO and former United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was director of Exxon Neftegas from 1998 to at least May 2001.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 the then U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama.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 County, Nebraska
Seward County is a county located in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,750. Its county seat is Seward. The county was formed in 1855 and later organized in 1867. It was originally called Greene County, and in 1862 it was renamed in honor of William H. Seward, United States Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Seward County is part of the Lincoln, NE Metropolitan Statistical Area.
In the Nebraska license plate system, Seward County is represented by the prefix 16 (it had the sixteenth-largest number of vehicles registered in the county when the license plate system was established in 1922).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.Seward Square
Seward Square is a square and park maintained by the National Park Service located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and North Carolina Avenue in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Southeast Washington, D.C. The square is bounded by 4th Street to the west and 6th Street to the east. North and south of the park are the respective westbound and eastbound lanes of Seward Square, SE. Because Pennsylvania and North Carolina Avenues intersect in the middle of the square, it divides the square into four unique smaller parks. The park is named after William Henry Seward, the United States Secretary of State under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Seward is noted for his part in the American purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867. The purchase was ridiculed at the time and was colloquially known as "Seward's Folly". There is no statue of William Seward on the site of the park, however there is a statue of his adopted daughter, Olive Risley Seward located at a private residence at the corner of 6th Street and North Carolina Avenue, SE. The statue was sculpted in 1971 by John Cavanaugh.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.