United States Department of State
Seal of the U.S. Department of State
Flag of the U.S. Department of State
|Formed||July 27, 1789|
|Headquarters||Harry S Truman Building
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Employees||13,000 Foreign Serviceemployees
11,000 Civil Serviceemployees
45,000 Foreign Service local employees
|Annual budget||$65.9 billion (FY 2015)|
The United States Department of State (DOS), often referred to as the State Department, is the United States federal executive department responsible for the international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministry of other countries. The Department was created in 1789 and was the first executive department established.
The Department is headquartered in the Harry S Truman Building located at 2201 C Street, NW, a few blocks away from the White House in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The Department operates the diplomatic missions of the United States abroad and is responsible for implementing the foreign policy of the United States and U.S. diplomacy efforts. The Department is also the depositary for more than 200 multilateral treaties.
The Department is led by the Secretary of State, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate and is a member of the Cabinet. The current Secretary of State is John Kerry. The Secretary of State is the first Cabinet official in the order of precedence and in the presidential line of succession.
- 2Duties and responsibilities
- 4Jefferson Science Fellows Program
- 5Franklin Fellows Program
- 6Department of State Air Wing
- 8Central Foreign Policy File
- 9Freedom of Information Act processing performance
- 11See also
- 12Notes and references
- 13External links
The U.S. Constitution, drafted in Philadelphia in 1787 and ratified by the 13 states the following year, gave the President the responsibility for the conduct of the nation’s foreign relations. It soon became clear, however, that an executive department was necessary to support the President in the conduct of the affairs of the new federal government.
The House of Representatives and Senate approved legislation to establish aDepartment of Foreign Affairs on July 21, 1789, and President Washington signed it into law on July 27, making the Department of Foreign Affairs the first federal agency to be created under the new Constitution. This legislation remains the basic law of the Department of State. In September 1789, additional legislation changed the name of the agency to the Department of State and assigned to it a variety of domestic duties.
These responsibilities grew to include management of the United States Mint, keeper of the Great Seal of the United States, and the taking of the census. PresidentGeorge Washington signed the new legislation on September 15. Most of these domestic duties of the Department of State were eventually turned over to various new Federal departments and agencies that were established during the 19th century. However, the Secretary of State still retains a few domestic responsibilities, such as being the keeper of the Great Seal and being the officer to whom a President or Vice-President of the United States wishing to resign must deliver an instrument in writing declaring the decision to resign.
On September 29, 1789, President Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, then Minister to France, to be the first United States Secretary of State.John Jay had been serving in as Secretary of Foreign Affairs as a holdover from the Confederation since before Washington had taken office and would continue in that capacity until Jefferson returned from Europe many months later.
From 1790 to 1800, the State Department had its headquarters in Philadelphia, the capital of the United States at the time. It occupied a building at Church and Fifth Streets (although, for a short period during which a yellow fever epidemic ravaged the city, it resided in the New Jersey State House in Trenton, New Jersey). In 1800, it moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., where it first occupied the Treasury Building and then the Seven Buildings at 19th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. It moved into the Six Buildings in September 1800, where it remained until May 1801. It moved into the War Office Building due west of the White House in May 1801. It occupied the Treasury Building from September 1819 to November 1866, except for the period from September 1814 to April 1816 (during which it occupied a structure at G and 18th streets NW while the Treasury Building was repaired). It then occupied the Washington City Orphan Home from November 1866 to July 1875. It moved to the State, War, and Navy Building in 1875. Since May 1947, it has occupied the Harry S. Truman Building in theFoggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington; the State Department is therefore sometimes metonymically referred to as “Foggy Bottom.” 
In 2014, the State Department began expanding into the Navy Hill Complex across 23rd Street NW from the Truman Building. A joint venture consisting of the architectural firms of Goody, Clancy and the Louis Berger Group won a $2.5 million contract in January 2014 to begin planning the renovation of the buildings on the 11.8 acres (48,000 m2) Navy Hill campus, which housed the World War II headquarters of the Office of Strategic Services and was the first headquarters of theCentral Intelligence Agency.
Duties and responsibilities
The Executive Branch and the U.S. Congress have constitutional responsibilities for U.S. foreign policy. Within the Executive Branch, the Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency, and its head, the Secretary of State, is the President’s principal foreign policy advisor, though other officials or individuals may have more influence on their foreign policy decisions. The Department advances U.S. objectives and interests in the world through its primary role in developing and implementing the President’s foreign policy. The Department also supports the foreign affairs activities of other U.S. Government entities including the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. It also provides an array of important services to U.S. citizens and to foreigners seeking to visit or immigrate to the U.S.
All foreign affairs activities—U.S. representation abroad, foreign assistance programs, countering international crime, foreign military training programs, the services the Department provides, and more—are paid for by the foreign affairs budget, which represents little more than 1% of the total federal budget. The total Department of State budget, together with ‘Other International Programs’ (see below), costs about 45 cents a day ($165.90 a year) for each resident of the United States. As stated by the Department of State, its purpose includes:
- Protecting and assisting U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad;
- Assisting U.S. businesses in the international marketplace;
- Coordinating and providing support for international activities of other U.S. agencies (local, state, or federal government), official visits overseas and at home, and other diplomatic efforts.
- Keeping the public informed about U.S. foreign policy and relations with other countries and providing feedback from the public to administration officials.
- Providing automobile registration for non-diplomatic staff vehicles and the vehicles of diplomats of foreign countries having diplomatic immunity in the United States.
The Department of State conducts these activities with a civilian workforce, and normally uses the Foreign Service personnel system for positions that require service abroad. Employees may be assigned to diplomatic missions abroad to represent The United States, analyze and report on political, economic, and social trends; adjudicate visas; and respond to the needs of US citizens abroad. The U.S. maintains diplomatic relations with about 180 countries and maintains relations with many international organizations, adding up to a total of more than 250 posts around the world. In the United States, about 5,000 professional, technical, and administrative employees work compiling and analyzing reports from overseas, providing logistical support to posts, communicating with the American public, formulating and overseeing the budget, issuing passports and travel warnings, and more. In carrying out these responsibilities, the Department of State works in close coordination with other federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Commerce. As required by the principle of checks and balances, the Department also consults with Congress about foreign policy initiatives and policies.
To: ‘Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.’
The DOS promotes and protects the interests of American citizens by (1) ‘Promoting peace and stability in regions of vital interest’; (2) ‘Creating jobs at home by opening markets abroad’; (3) ‘Helping developing nations establish investment and export opportunities’; and (4) ‘Bringing nations together and forging partnerships to address global problems, such as terrorism, the spread of communicable diseases, cross-border pollution, humanitarian crises, nuclear smuggling, and narcotics trafficking’.
BioPrepWatch reported that, on May 30, 2013, the State Department submitted the Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 to Congress. Most terrorist attacks have been decentralized and target the Middle East countries. There have been no other reports that have previously talked about this topic, but the biggest shifts in terrorism in 2012 included an increase in state-sponsored terrorism in Iran. The State Department states the best way to counter international terrorist attacks is to work with international partners to cut funding, strengthen law-enforcing institutions and eliminate terrorist safe havens.
Secretary of State
The Secretary of State is the chief executive officer of the Department of State and a member of the Cabinet that answers directly to the President of the United States. The secretary organizes and supervises the entire departmen