Our Organization and People
Megan Willis conducts interviews in a shop in Gandiaye, Senegal as part of an interagency conflict assessment led by the Department in advance of Senegalese elections. Department of State
The Department of State advances U.S. objectives and interests in the world through its primary role in developing and implementing the President's foreign policy worldwide. The Department also supports the foreign affairs activities of other U.S. Government entities including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID is the U.S. Government agency responsible for most non-military foreign aid and it receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. The State Department carries out its foreign affairs mission and values in a worldwide workplace, focusing its energies and resources wherever they are most needed to best serve the American people and the world.
The Department is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has an extensive global presence, with more than 270 embassies, consulates, and other posts in over 180 countries. A two-page map of the Department's locations appears in Appendix B. The Department also operates several other types of offices, mostly located throughout the United States, including several passport agencies, two foreign press centers, one reception center, five logistic support offices for overseas operations, 20 security offices, and two financial service centers.
The Foreign Service officers and Civil Service employees in the Department and U.S. missions abroad represent the American people. They work together to achieve the goals and implement the initiatives of American foreign policy. The Foreign Service is dedicated to representing America and to responding to the needs of American citizens living and traveling around the world. They are also America's first line of defense in a complex and often dangerous world. The Department's Civil Service corps, most of whom are headquartered in Washington, D.C., is involved in virtually every policy and management area - from democracy and human rights, to narcotics control, trade, and environmental issues. Civil Service employees also serve as the domestic counterpart to Foreign Service consular officers who issue passports and assist U.S. citizens overseas.
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt M. Campbell and National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs Daniel Russel participate in a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo, Japan, January 17, 2013. Department of State
Host country Foreign Service National (FSN) and other Locally Employed (LE) staff contribute to advancing the work of the Department overseas. Both FSNs and other LE staff contribute local expertise and provide continuity as they work with their American colleagues to perform vital services for U.S. citizens. At the close of FY 2013, the Department was comprised of approximately 71,000 employees.
The U.S. Department of State, with just over one percent of the entire federal budget, has an outsized impact on Americans' lives at home and abroad. For a relatively small investment, the Department yields a large return in a cost-effective way by advancing U.S. national security, promoting our economic interests, creating jobs, reaching new allies, strengthening old ones, and reaffirming our country's role in the world. The Department's mission impacts American lives in multiple ways.
Ten Things You Should Know About the State Department:
Secretary Kerry Delivers Remarks
These impacts include:
- We create American jobs. We directly support 20 million U.S. jobs by promoting new and open markets for U.S. firms, protecting intellectual property, negotiating new airline routes, and competing for foreign government and private contracts.
- We support American citizens abroad. We provided emergency assistance to U.S. citizens in countries experiencing natural disasters or civil unrest. In calendar year 2012, the most recent year that figures are available, we assisted in over 8,600 international adoptions and received more than 1,600 reports of international parental child abduction. We also assisted in the return of over 560 abducted children to the United States.
- We promote democracy and foster stability around the world. Stable democracies are less likely to pose a threat to their neighbors or to the United States. In South Sudan, Libya, and many other countries, we worked to foster democracy and peace.
- We help to make the world a safer place. Together with Russia, under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, we are reducing the number of deployed nuclear weapons to levels not seen since the 1950s. Our nonproliferation programs have destroyed stockpiles of missiles, munitions, and material that can be used to make a nuclear weapon. The Department has helped more than 40 countries clear millions of square meters of landmines.
- We save lives. Strong bipartisan support for U.S. global health investments has led to worldwide progress against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox, and polio. Better health abroad reduces the risk of instability and enhances our national security.
- We help countries feed themselves. We help other countries plant the right seeds in the right way and get crops to markets to feed more people. Strong agricultural sectors lead to more stable countries.
- We help in times of crisis. From earthquakes in Haiti, Japan, and Chile, to famine in the Horn of Africa, our dedicated emergency professionals deliver assistance to those who need it most.
- We promote the rule of law and protect human dignity. We help people in other countries find freedom and shape their own destinies. Reflecting U.S. values, we advocate for the release of prisoners of conscience, attempt to prevent political activists from suffering abuse, train police officers to combat sex trafficking, and equip journalists to hold their governments accountable.
- We help Americans see the world. The Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs supports and protects the American public. In 2013, we issued 13.5 million passports and passport cards for Americans to travel abroad. We facilitate the lawful travel of international students, tourists, and business people to the United States, adding greatly to our economy. We also keep Americans apprised of dangers or difficulties abroad through our travel warnings.
For more information, a video on Consular Affairs
entitled "Welcoming the World" may be viewed at:
- We are the face of America overseas. Our diplomats, development experts, and the programs they implement are the source of American leadership and the embodiments of our American values around the world.
The Department's organizational chart appears here. As shown, the Secretary of State (S) is supported by two Deputy Secretaries, the Executive Secretariat (S/ES), the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources (F), the Counselor (C) and Chief of Staff (S/COS), six Under Secretaries, and over 30 functional and management bureaus and offices. The Deputy Secretary of State (D) serves as the principal deputy, adviser, and alter ego to the Secretary of State. The Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources (D-MR) serves as the Department's Chief Operating Officer. The Under Secretaries have been established for Political Affairs (P); Economic Growth, Energy and Environment (E); Arms Control and International Security Affairs (T); Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R); Management (M); and Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights (J). The Under Secretary for Management also serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the Department.
The Department's political affairs mission is supported through six regional bureaus - each is responsible for a specific geographic region of the world. These include:
- Bureau of African Affairs (AF),
- Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR),
- Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP),
- Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA),
- Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA), and
- Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA).
The Department also includes the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. This Bureau develops and implements U.S. policy in the United Nations, its specialized and voluntary agencies, and other international organizations.
In accordance with the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) recommendations for improving efficiency and unifying efforts, several Coordinators Offices, Special Envoys/Representative Offices, Special Advisors, and Secretaries were either established or renamed in FY 2013.
"About the Department" at: