The United States federal executive departments are the principal units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. They are analogous to ministries common in parliamentary or semi-presidential systems but (the United States being a presidential system) they are led by a head of government who is also the head of state. The executive departments are the administrative arms of the President of the United States. There are currently 15 executive departments.
The heads of the executive departments receive the title of Secretary of their respective department, except for the Attorney-General who is head of the Justice Department (and the Postmaster General who until 1971 was head of the Post Office Department). The heads of the executive departments are appointed by the President and take office after confirmation by the United States Senate, and serve at the pleasure of the President. The heads of departments are members of the Cabinet of the United States, an executive organ that normally acts as an advisory body to the President. In the Opinion Clause (Article II, section 2, clause 1) of the U.S. Constitution, heads of executive departments are referred to as "principal Officer in each of the executive Departments".
The heads of executive departments are included in the line of succession to the President, in the event of a vacancy in the presidency, after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate.
|State||July 27, 1789||69,000
13,000 Foreign Service
11,000 Civil Service
Secretary of State
|Treasury||September 2, 1789||86,049
Secretary of the Treasury
|Defense||September 18, 1947||2.86 million||$717 billion
|Patrick M. Shanahan|
Secretary of Defense
|Justice||July 1, 1870||113,543
|Interior||March 3, 1849||70,003
Secretary of the Interior
|Agriculture||May 15, 1862||105,778
Secretary of Agriculture
|Commerce||February 14, 1903||43,880
Secretary of Commerce
|Labor||March 4, 1913||17,450
Secretary of Labor
|Health and Human Services||April 11, 1953||79,540
|$1 020 billion
Secretary of Health and Human Services
|Housing and Urban Development||September 9, 1965||8,416
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
|Transportation||April 1, 1967||58,622||$72.4 billion||Elaine Chao|
Secretary of Transportation
|Energy||August 4, 1977||12,944
Secretary of Energy
|Education||October 17, 1979||3912
Secretary of Education
|Veterans Affairs||21 July 1930||377,805
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
|Homeland Security||November 25, 2002||229,000
Secretary of Homeland Security
|Seal||Department||Formed||Abolished||Superseded by||Last head|
|War||August 7, 1789||September 18, 1947||Department of the Army
Department of the Air Force
|Kenneth C. Royall|
Secretary of War
|Army||September 18, 1947||August 10, 1949||Department of Defense
(as executive department)
becomes military department
Secretary of the Army
|Air Force||W. Stuart Symington|
Secretary of the Air Force
|Navy||April 30, 1798||Francis P. Matthews|
Secretary of the Navy
|Post Office||February 20, 1792||July 1, 1971||Postal Service||Winton M. Blount|
Department may refer to:
Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibilityFood and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA) is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments. The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the control and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements, prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs (medications), vaccines, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices (ERED), cosmetics, animal foods & feed and veterinary products. As of 2017, 3/4th of the FDA budget (approximately $700 million) is paid by people who consume pharmaceutical products, due to the Prescription Drug User Fee Act.The FDA was empowered by the United States Congress to enforce the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which serves as the primary focus for the Agency; the FDA also enforces other laws, notably Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act and associated regulations, many of which are not directly related to food or drugs. These include regulating lasers, cellular phones, condoms and control of disease on products ranging from certain household pets to sperm donation for assisted reproduction.
The FDA is led by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Commissioner reports to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Scott Gottlieb, M.D. is the current commissioner, who took over in May 2017.The FDA has its headquarters in unincorporated White Oak, Maryland. The agency also has 223 field offices and 13 laboratories located throughout the 50 states, the United States Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. In 2008, the FDA began to post employees to foreign countries, including China, India, Costa Rica, Chile, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.List of federal agencies in the United States
Legislative definitions of a federal agency are varied, and even contradictory, and the official United States Government Manual offers no definition. While the Administrative Procedure Act definition of "agency" applies to most executive branch agencies, Congress may define an agency however it chooses in enabling legislation, and subsequent litigation, often involving the Freedom of Information Act and the Government in the Sunshine Act. These further cloud attempts to enumerate a list of agencies.The executive branch of the federal government includes the Executive Office of the President and the United States federal executive departments (whose secretaries belong to the Cabinet). Employees of the majority of these agencies are considered civil servants.
The majority of the independent agencies of the United States government are also classified as executive agencies (they are independent in that they are not subordinated under a Cabinet position). There are a small number of independent agencies that are not considered part of the executive branch, such as the Library of Congress and Congressional Budget Office, administered directly by Congress and thus are legislative branch agencies.Milton Semer
Milton Phillip Semer (March 5, 1919 – July 27, 2016) was an American lawyer.United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and internationally.
Approximately 80% of the USDA's $141 billion budget goes to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) program. The largest component of the FNS budget is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp program), which is the cornerstone of USDA's nutrition assistance.The current Secretary of Agriculture is Sonny Perdue.United States Department of Commerce
The United States Department of Commerce is the Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. Among its tasks are gathering economic and demographic data for business and government decision-making, and helping to set industrial standards. This organization's main purpose is to create jobs, promote economic growth, encourage sustainable development and improve standards of living for all Americans. The Department of Commerce headquarters is the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington, D.C.
Wilbur Ross is the current Commerce secretary.United States Department of Defense
The Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD, or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. The department is the largest employer in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active duty servicemen and women as of 2016. Adding to its employees are over 826,000 National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services, and over 732,000 civilians bringing the total to over 2.8 million employees. Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security".The Department of Defense is headed by the Secretary of Defense, a cabinet-level head who reports directly to the President of the United States. Beneath the Department of Defense are three subordinate military departments: the United States Department of the Army, the United States Department of the Navy, and the United States Department of the Air Force. In addition, four national intelligence services are subordinate to the Department of Defense: the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Other Defense Agencies include the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the Defense Health Agency (DHA), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the Defense Security Service (DSS), and the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA), all of which are under the command of the Secretary of Defense. Additionally, the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) provides acquisition insight that matters, by delivering actionable acquisition intelligence from factory floor to the warfighter. Military operations are managed by ten regional or functional Unified combatant commands. The Department of Defense also operates several joint services schools, including the Eisenhower School (ES) and the National War College (NWC).United States Department of Education
The United States Department of Education (ED or DoED), also referred to as the ED for (the) Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government. It began operating on May 4, 1980, having been created after the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was split into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services by the Department of Education Organization Act, which President Jimmy Carter signed into law on October 17, 1979.The Department of Education is administered by the United States Secretary of Education. It has under 4,000 employees (2018) and an annual budget of $68 billion (2016). The 2019 Budget also supports $129.8 billion in new postsecondary grants, loans, and work-study assistance to help an estimated 11.5 million students and their families pay for college. Its official abbreviation is "ED" ("DOE" refers to the United States Department of Energy) and is also often abbreviated informally as "DoEd".United States Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a cabinet-level department of the United States Government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material. Its responsibilities include the nation's nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the United States Navy, energy conservation, energy-related research, radioactive waste disposal, and domestic energy production. It also directs research in genomics; the Human Genome Project originated in a DOE initiative. DOE sponsors more research in the physical sciences than any other U.S. federal agency, the majority of which is conducted through its system of National Laboratories.
The agency is administered by the United States Secretary of Energy, and its headquarters are located in Southwest Washington, D.C., on Independence Avenue in the James V. Forrestal Building, named for James Forrestal, as well as in Germantown, Maryland.
Former Governor of Texas Rick Perry is the current Secretary of Energy. He was confirmed by a 62 to 37 vote in the United States Senate on March 2, 2017.United States Department of Health and Human Services
The United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), also known as the Health Department, is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Its motto is "Improving the health, safety, and well-being of America". Before the separate federal Department of Education was created in 1979, it was called the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).
HHS is administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, who is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The United States Public Health Service (PHS) is the main division of the HHS and is led by the Assistant Secretary for Health. The current Secretary, Alex Azar, assumed office on January 29, 2018, upon his appointment by President Trump and confirmation by the Senate.
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the uniformed service of the PHS, is led by the Surgeon General who is responsible for addressing matters concerning public health as authorized by the Secretary or by the Assistant Secretary of Health in addition to his or her primary mission of administering the Commissioned Corps.United States Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a cabinet department of the U.S. federal government with responsibilities in public security, roughly comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries. Its stated missions involve anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, cyber security, and disaster prevention and management. It was created in response to the September 11 attacks and is the youngest U.S. cabinet department.
In fiscal year 2017, it was allocated a net discretionary budget of $40.6 billion. With more than 240,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet department, after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Homeland security policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council. Other agencies with significant homeland security responsibilities include the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, and Energy.
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned on April 7, 2019, effective April 10. By law (6 U.S.C. §113(g)), Undersecretary for Management Claire Grady was to become the acting Secretary of Homeland Security. On April 7, President Donald J. Trump designated the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan as acting Secretary; that became legal after Trump forced Grady to resign on April 9. McAleenan then named David Pekoske, who currently also serves as the TSA Administrator, as the acting Deputy Secretary.United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a Cabinet department in the Executive branch of the United States federal government. Although its beginnings were in the House and Home Financing Agency, it was founded as a Cabinet department in 1965, as part of the "Great Society" program of President Lyndon Johnson, to develop and execute policies on housing and metropolises.United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), also known as the Justice Department, is a federal executive department of the U.S. government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. The department was formed in 1870 during the Ulysses S. Grant administration.
The Department of Justice administers several federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The department is responsible for investigating instances of financial fraud, representing the United States government in legal matters (such as in cases before the Supreme Court), and running the federal prison system. The department is also responsible for reviewing the conduct of local law enforcement as directed by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.The department is headed by the United States Attorney General, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet. The current Attorney General is William Barr.United States Department of Labor
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupational safety, wage and hour standards, unemployment insurance benefits, reemployment services, and some economic statistics; many U.S. states also have such departments. The department is headed by the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
The purpose of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the wellbeing of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. In carrying out this mission, the Department of Labor administers and enforces more than 180 federal laws and thousands of federal regulations. These mandates and the regulations that implement them cover many workplace activities for about 10 million employers and 125 million workers.
The department's headquarters is housed in the Frances Perkins Building, named in honor of Frances Perkins, the Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945.United States Department of State
The United States Department of State (DOS), commonly referred to as the State Department, is the federal executive department that advises the President and conducts international relations. Equivalent to the foreign ministry of other countries, it was established in 1789 as the nation's first executive department.The State Department's duties include implementing the foreign policy of the United States, operating the nation's diplomatic missions abroad, negotiating treaties and agreements with foreign entities, and representing the United States at the United Nations. It is led by the Secretary of State, a member of the Cabinet who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Secretary of State also serves as the nation's chief diplomat and representative abroad, and is the first Cabinet official in the order of precedence and in the presidential line of succession.
The State Department is headquartered in the Harry S Truman Building, a few blocks away from the White House, in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C.; "Foggy Bottom" is thus sometimes used as a metonym. The current Secretary of State is Mike Pompeo, who ascended to the office in April 2018 after Rex Tillerson resigned.United States Department of Transportation
The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT or DOT) is a federal Cabinet department of the U.S. government concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, and began operation on April 1, 1967. It is governed by the United States Secretary of Transportation.United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a federal Cabinet-level agency that provides near-comprehensive healthcare services to eligible military veterans at VA medical centers and outpatient clinics located throughout the country; several non-healthcare benefits including disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, education assistance, home loans, and life insurance; and provides burial and memorial benefits to eligible veterans and family members at 135 national cemeteries.
While veterans benefits have been provided since the American Revolutionary War, an exclusively veteran-focused federal agency, the Veterans Administration, was not established until 1930, and became the cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989.
The VA employs 377,805 people at hundreds of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, clinics, benefits offices, and cemeteries. In Fiscal Year 2016 (1 Oct 2015 – 30 Sep 2016), net program costs for the department were $273 billion, which includes VBA Actuarial Cost of $106.5 billion for compensation benefits. The long-term actuarial accrued liability (total estimated future payments for veterans and their family members) is $2.491 trillion for compensation benefits; $59.6 billion for education benefits; and $4.6 billion for burial benefits.The agency is led by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who—being a cabinet member—is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.In May 2014, it was revealed that veterans died while waiting for their appointments during extended delays in getting care at the Veterans Health Administration. An investigation found that VA personnel falsified scheduling data to make it seem as if they had met scheduling targets.United States Department of the Interior
The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, territorial affairs, and insular areas of the United States. About 75% of federal public land is managed by the department, with most of the remainder managed by the United States Department of Agriculture's United States Forest Service.The department is administered by the United States Secretary of the Interior, who is a member of the Cabinet of the President. The current Secretary is David Bernhardt, who serves in an acting capacity, and concurrently serves in the Department as Deputy Secretary. The Inspector General position is currently vacant, with Mary Kendall serving as acting Inspector General.Despite its name, the Department of the Interior has a different role from that of the interior ministries of other nations, which are usually responsible for police matters and internal security. In the United States, national security and immigration functions are performed by the Department of Homeland Security primarily and the Department of Justice secondarily.
The Department of the Interior has often been humorously called "The Department of Everything Else" because of its broad range of responsibilities.United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury (USDT) is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. Established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue, the Treasury prints all paper currency and mints all coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, respectively; collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service; manages U.S. government debt instruments; licenses and supervises banks and thrift institutions; and advises the legislative and executive branches on matters of fiscal policy.The Department is administered by the Secretary of the Treasury, who is a member of the Cabinet. Senior advisor to the Secretary is the Treasurer of the United States. Signatures of both officials appear on all Federal Reserve notes.The first Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton, sworn into office on September 11, 1789. Hamilton was appointed by President George Washington on the recommendation of Robert Morris, Washington's first choice for the position, who had declined the appointment. Hamilton established—almost singlehandedly—the nation's early financial system and for several years was a major presence in Washington's administration. His portrait appears on the obverse of the ten-dollar bill, while the Treasury Department building is depicted on the reverse.The current Secretary of the Treasury is Steven Mnuchin, who was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 13, 2017. Jovita Carranza, appointed on April 28, 2017, is the incumbent treasurer.
Federal executive departments of the United States of America