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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Deputy Secretary of State


The Deputy Secretary, William J. Burns serves as the principal deputy, adviser, and alter ego to the Secretary of State; serves as Acting Secretary of State in the Secretary's absence; and assists the Secretary in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy and in giving general supervision and direction to all elements of the Department. Specific duties and supervisory responsibilities have varied over time.


Shaping the Pacific Century

Date: 04/08/2014 Description: Deputy Secretary William Burns delivers the keynote address at the launch event for the Asia Society Policy Institute, in New York City. © Asia Society Policy Institute

Deputy Secretary Burns (Apr. 8): "As far out as I can see into the 21st century, no region will be more consequential for American interests and for the shape of the global system than the Asia-Pacific." Full Text»


Gender-Based Violence Emergency Response and Protection Initiative

Deputy Secretary Burns (Mar. 20): "Gender-based violence – wherever and whenever it takes place, here at home or around the world – is an inexcusable crime and an affront to dignity and human rights." Full Text» More»


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