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Bureaus and Offices

Domestically, the Department consists of bureaus and offices responsible for handling various interests and policy initiatives. We also operate several other types of offices, most of which are located throughout the United States, including passport agencies, foreign press centers, logistic support offices, security offices, and financial service centers.

Bureaus and offices cover “regional” or “functional” topics. Most report to one of six Under Secretaries, but some report directly to the Secretary of State or the Deputy Secretary of State. The Under Secretaries of State serve as advisors to the Secretary and lead the Department’s efforts in their respective subject matters. As their work is often related, bureaus and offices that report to the same Under Secretary are said to belong to the same “family,” and are usually identified with a single letter representing each Under Secretary.

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, which includes the Foreign Service, Civil Service, and U.S. Agency for International Development.

The Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security serves as a Senior Adviser to the President and the Secretary of State, leads the interagency policy process on nonproliferation, and manages global U.S. security policy, including: nonproliferation, arms control, regional security, defense relations, arms transfers, security assistance.

The Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights leads Department efforts to prevent and counter threats to civilian security. The bureaus and offices reporting to the Under Secretary advance the security of the American people by assisting countries around the world to build more democratic, secure, stable, and just societies.

The Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment (E) leads the State Department’s efforts to develop and implement international policies related to economic growth, energy, agriculture, the ocean, the environment, and science and technology.

The Under Secretary for Management is the State Department’s representative on the President’s Management Council, and is the Department official responsible for implementing the President’s Management Agenda (PMA). The PMA is a set of management initiatives designed to make government more citizen-centered, effective, and efficient.

The Under Secretary for Political Affairs serves as the day-to-day manager of overall regional and bilateral policy issues. The geographic bureaus and offices advise the Under Secretary and guide the operation of the U.S. diplomatic missions within their regional jurisdiction. International Organization Affairs develops and implements the policies of the U.S. Government within the United Nations and its affiliated agencies, as well as within certain other international organizations.

The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs serves as the lead policy maker for the Department’s overall public outreach and press strategies. The team coordinates closely with bureaus, the interagency, the private sector, and international partners to ensure the Department’s public diplomacy and public affairs activities are consistent, forward looking, supportive of U.S. foreign policy, and grounded in research.

U.S. Department of State

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