Our Mission, Values, and History
"One of the things I want to emphasize, when I became the nominee I said to everybody on the committee that: Foreign policy is economic policy; economic policy is foreign policy in today's world. And so we have set ourselves up in the State Department to be increasingly geared towards helping American businesses and towards creating new partnerships in an effort to also promote our foreign policy goals. We're focused on jobs diplomacy and shared prosperity."
- Secretary of State, John Kerry
Did You Know?
Secretary of State William Henry Seward negotiated the 1867 purchase of Alaska. For a complete list of those who have served as U.S. Secretary of State, please refer to Appendix C of this report.
More information on former Secretaries can be found at: https://history.state.gov/department history/people/secretaries
The U.S. Department of State (the Department) is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency within the Executive Branch and the lead institution for the conduct of American diplomacy. Established by Congress in 1789, the Department is the nation's oldest and most senior cabinet agency.
The Department is led by the Secretary of State, who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Secretary of State is the President's principal foreign policy advisor and a member of the President's Cabinet. The Secretary carries out the President's foreign policies through the State Department and its employees.