Date: 11/05/2013 Description: Virginia state seal © Public Domain
Date: 11/05/2013 Description: Virginia state flag © Public Domain

Fast Facts

Thomas Jefferson of Virginia was the first Secretary of State; Edmund Jennings Randolph of Virginia was the second.

Prior to his tenure as Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Marshall of Virginia was the fourth Secretary of State.

Colin Powell, a Virginia resident, was the first African-American to serve as Secretary of State.

The State Department benefits the American people by advancing U.S. national security, promoting our economic interests, providing services and reaffirming our country's exceptional role in the world. Read on to learn how the work of the Department benefits this state’s residents.


  • Jobs and Diplomacy

    • In partnership with agencies across the federal government, the Department of State advances U.S. trade policy objectives by opening new export and job opportunities for American businesses and workers through trade initiatives. In 2015, goods exports from Virginia totaled $18.2 billion, which supported 87,259 U.S. jobs.(EB) More»

    • U.S.-China EcoPartnerships project between Reston-based Wilson Solarpower and Shenzhen Enesoon Science & Technology to demonstrate and commercialize a solar energy plant. Learn more about EcoPartnerships here. (EAP/OES) More»

    • George Mason University and the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL) in Mexico established the first International Sister Center partnership under the Small Business Network of the Americas. As Sister Centers, George Mason and UANL will cooperate on soft landing programs for small businesses looking to establish a presence in the vicinity of Monterrey, Mexico or in Virginia. (WHA) More»

    • Virginia hosted 10,687 foreign physicians, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs and others as part of work and study-based Exchange Visitor Program. (ECA) More»

    • Click here for more information about Department career recruitment events in Virginia. (HR)

  • Education

    • 84 scholars, students and teachers from Virginia were awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, and 70 international students received a Fulbright to study in Virginia. (ECA) More»

    • Diplomats-in-Residence (Matthew Harrington – Northern Virginia; EC Thompson – Southern Virginia): Diplomats in Residence (DIRs) are career Foreign Service Officers assigned to universities throughout the United States. They provide guidance and advice to students, professionals and the community about Department careers. (HR) More»

    • 19,549 international higher education students studied abroad in Virginia. (ECA) More»

    • 121 emerging leaders studied or participated in a fellowship in Virginia on one of the Young Leaders Initiatives. (ECA) More»

    • 612 exchange visitors from overseas visited Virginia and 316 Virginia residents travelled overseas as part of the Department’s educational and cultural exchange funded programs. (ECA) More»

    • Under the U.S. Department of State’s U.S. Speaker Program, Catherine Sanz, president of the WIFLE Foundation, engaged hundreds of women working in law enforcement during her trip to Chile. As a direct result of her trip, Ms. Sanz hosted a group of these women at the annual WIFLE conference on leadership held in Virginia. (IIP) More»

    • The Middle East Partnership Initiative provided $192,000 to bring young civic leaders from the Middle East and North Africa to the University of Virginia for the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship, through which participants gain a practical understanding of the interactions between government and civil society, while also gaining valuable knowledge, skills, and professional contacts to benefit their professional pursuits in their home countries. (NEA/MEPI) More»

  • Partnerships

    • With support from the U.S. Department of State, through the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the United States and Vietnam have conducted joint field activities to recover the remains of missing Americans from the Vietnam War. (EAP) More»

    • With support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Vietnam Education Foundation helps strengthen U.S.-Vietnam bilateral relationship through educational exchanges in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) fields. The Foundation facilitates opportunities for Vietnamese nationals to pursue graduate and post-graduate studies in the STEMM fields in the United States and for Americans to teach in the same fields in Vietnam. (ECA/EAP) More»

    • The U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) awarded $500,000 to Virginia’s World Hope International for a two- year project in Liberia to establish and institutionalize a national referral mechanism, provide short-term shelter and comprehensive services for victims of human trafficking, and develop a national anti-trafficking hotline. (J/TIP) More»

    • 74 Virginia residents volunteered to host or support International Visitor Leadership Program participants who visited the state. (ECA) More»

    • Virginia hosts students from allied and friendly nations for International Military Education and Training. (PM) More»

    • Refugee Arrivals in Fiscal Year 2016: 1,471. The Department works with nine domestic non-governmental organizations, which place refugees in over 300 affiliated offices in roughly 180 communities around the country. These local offices work closely with community partners, congregations, volunteers, and state and local officials to provide a successful start for refugees rebuilding their lives. Refugee communities have historically enhanced the economic dynamism and cultural vitality of our nation. Refugees contribute to the United States in numerous ways, including by starting businesses and joining the U.S. military. (PRM) More»

    • The U.S. Department of State facilitates the Virginia National Guard State Partnership Program with Tajikistan founded in 2003. (PM) More»

  • Travel and Security

    • Total Passports Issued in Fiscal Year 2016: 453,042. (CA) More»

    • Passport Application Acceptance Facilities as of 2016: 236. (CA) More»

    • Overseas Adoptions: In Fiscal Year 2015, the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) issued visas to 221 children who were adopted by U.S. citizens from Virginia. Intercountry adoption is one of CA's highest priorities. CA's Office of Children’s Issues plays an active role in the intercountry adoption process and works diligently to establish and maintain intercountry adoption as a viable option throughout the world. Learn more. (CA)

    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Monticello and the University of Virginia. (IO)

    • The Diplomatic Security Washington, D.C. Field Office serves Virginia. Diplomatic Security has offices throughout the United States staffed with special agents and contract investigators, who conduct criminal, counterterrorism and background investigations. Agents assigned to field and resident offices assist in providing support to the protection of the Secretary of State, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and visiting foreign dignitaries. Liaison with federal and local law enforcement, foreign mission personnel, local officials, and the private sector complements their major responsibilities. (DS) (Resident Office: Dunn Loring Investigative Field Office) More»