What is the mission of the U.S. Department of State?

The Harry S Truman Building, headquarters for the Department of State in Washington D.C.

The Harry S Truman Building, Department of State
headquaters in Washington D.C. (© AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Above all, the mission of the U.S. Department of State is to advance the national interests of the United States and its people.

Everything the Department does supports this goal—

  • training journalists,
  • signing a treaty on trade relations,
  • helping a developing country stand on its own feet

Every foreign policy decision by the President and the Secretary of State is made with the interests and protection of the American people in mind.

The Department’s mission statement as it appears on State.gov December 2017:

The U.S. Department of State advances the interests of the American people, their safety and economic prosperity, by leading America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance.