Protecting People

The Secretary of State's Protective Detail provides security for the Secretary of State seven days a week, 24 hours a day, everywhere she travels in the world. The detail works closely with other offices in the Department of State, and other federal, state, local, and foreign security and law enforcement organizations to ensure that the Secretary of State is able to carry out American foreign policy safely and securely.

Date: 07/08/2011 Description: A DS supervisory special agent surveys a crowd of on-lookers as Great Britain's Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Los Angeles International Airport. - State Dept Image

Dignitary Protection Division

The Dignitary Protection Division coordinates all aspects of protective security details for cabinet-level foreign dignitaries who visit the United States (approximately 150 each year). Protection is normally afforded to a foreign dignitary on the basis of threat assessment and reciprocity. The division has provided security to foreign ministers, former heads of state, members of the British royal family, the Secretary Generals of the United Nations and NATO, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Protective Liaison Division A special agent, right, consults with a Canadian Royal Mounted Police officer, left.
The Protective Liaison Division provides security assistance and guidance to the foreign diplomatic corps in the United States. Through its close working relationships with foreign mission security officials, and federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities, the division responds quickly and effectively to all problems, questions, and concerns of the foreign diplomatic community.


RSO reviewing an emergency action plan.Regional Security Officers

Diplomatic Security special agents, assigned to U.S. diplomatic missions overseas as regional security officers (RSOs), serve as the personal advisor to the ambassador or chief of mission on all security issues and coordinate all aspects of a mission's security program. They develop and implement effective security programs to protect our employees from terrorist, criminal, and technical attack both at work and at home. RSOs receive valuable assistance in this effort from other Diplomatic Security personnel, Marine Security Guards, U.S. Navy Seabees, local and cleared American guards, local investigators, and security engineering officers, and host government officials. In addition, RSOs provide unclassified security briefings and other professional security advice to U.S. business executives overseas.

RSOs serve as the primary liaison with foreign police and security services overseas in an effort to obtain support for U.S. law enforcement initiatives and investigations.