Under the Constitution, the President of the United States determines U.S. foreign policy. The Secretary of State, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser. The Secretary carries out the President’s foreign policies through the State Department and the Foreign Service of the United States.
Created in 1789 by the Congress as the successor to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of State is the senior executive Department of the U.S. Government. The Secretary of State’s duties relating to foreign affairs include the following:
In addition, the Secretary of State retains domestic responsibilities that Congress entrusted to the State Department upon its creation. These responsibilities include the custody of the Great Seal of the United States, the preparation of certain presidential proclamations and the custody of certain original treaties and international agreements.