Mission and Organization

Diplomacy is an instrument of power. It is essential for maintaining effective international relationships, and a principal means by which the United States defends its interests, responds to crises, and achieves its foreign policy goals. The Department of State (Department) is the lead institution for the conduct of American diplomacy; its mission is based on the Secretary of State's role as the President's principal foreign policy adviser.

Department of State Mission

Create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.

The Department's mission statement guides its personnel, who carry out foreign affairs programs and activities. Department employees are also guided by a set of values.

Department of State Values

Commitment to the United States and the American people.

Maintenance of high ethical standards and integrity.

Excellence in the formulation of policy and management practices with room for creative dissent. Implementation of policy and management practices, regardless of personal views.

Responsibility for achieving United States foreign policy goals while meeting the highest performance standards.

Dedication to teamwork, professionalism, and the customer perspective.

Department of State National Interests and Strategic Goals

National Security - To protect vital interests and secure peace; deter aggression; prevent, defuse, and manage crises; halt the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and advance arms control and disarmament.

         Regional Stability - Ensure that local and regional instabilities do not threaten the security and well-being of the United States or its allies.

         Weapons of Mass Destruction - Reduce the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Economic Prosperity - To expand exports and open markets, assist American Business, foster economic growth, and promote sustainable development.

         Open Markets - Open world markets to increase trade and free the flow of goods, services and capital.

         U.S. Exports - Expand U.S. exports to $1.2 trillion early in the 21st century.

         Global Economic Growth - Increase global economic growth and stability.

         Economic Development - Promote broad-based, sustainable growth in developing countries and transitional economies.

American Citizens and U.S. Borders - To protect American citizens abroad and safeguard the borders of the United States.

         American Citizens - Protect the safety of American citizens who travel and live abroad.

         Travel & Migration - Facilitate travel to the United States for foreign visitors, immigrants, and refugees, while deterring entry by those who abuse or threaten our system.

Law Enforcement - To combat international terrorism, crime, and narcotics trafficking.

         Countering Terrorism - Reduce international terrorist attacks, especially on the United States and its citizens.

         International Crime - Minimize the impact of international crime on the United States and its citizens.

         Countering Illegal Drugs - Reduce the entry of illegal drugs into the United States.

Democracy -To support the establishment and consolidation of democracies, and uphold human rights.

         Democracy & Human Rights - A worldwide community of democracies where human rights, including worker rights, and religious freedom are universally respected.

Humanitarian Response - To provide humanitarian assistance to victims of crises and disaster.

         Humanitarian Assistance - Prevent or minimize the human costs of conflicts and natural disasters.

Global Issues: Environment, Population and Health - To improve the global environment, foster a healthy and educated world population, and protect human health.

         Environment - Secure a sustainable global environment to protect U.S. citizens and interests from the effects of international environmental degradation.

         Population - Achieve a healthy and educated world population.

         Health - Improve global health for a more secure world.

Diplomatic Activities:

         Mutual Understanding
Improve and strengthen the international relations of the United States by promoting better mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the peoples of the world through educational and cultural exchange.

         Human Resources
An optimum number, distribution, and configuration of the Department's workforce both domestic and overseas under the highest quality leadership employed in response to the foreign policy priorities identified in the strategic plan.

         Information Resources
Fully modernized, secure, and advantageous IT infrastructure and information systems, relying largely on commercial services and approaches, supporting the mission of the Department of State and the international community

         Infrastructure and Operations
Establish and maintain infrastructure and operating capabilities that enable employees to pursue policy objectives and respond to crises.

Organization Chart of the U.S. Department of State

[also see Directory of Key Officials and Senior Management]

Department of State organization chart from FY 2002 Performance and Accountability Report

The Department, the oldest and most senior cabinet agency, was established in 1789 to advise the President on formulating and executing foreign affairs. The Secretary of State heads the Department and serves as the President's principal advisor on the conduct of foreign relations. The Deputy Secretary and six Under Secretaries aid the Secretary of State, serving as the Department's corporate board on foreign policy. Each specializes in one of the following areas: political affairs; economic, business and agricultural affairs; arms control and international security; global affairs; public diplomacy and public affairs; and management.

The work of Department employees has an impact on the American people here and abroad. Expertise in languages, understanding of foreign cultures, and the ability to manage complex issues and programs are essential elements of this work.

[Text version of a photo: President Bush speaking at a podium. Caption/credit reads: "President George W. Bush addresses the employees of the Department in Washington, D.C. on October 4, 2001, praising all State Department employees for their efforts in safeguarding the freedom of the United States. AFP Photo/Manny Ceneta."]

The Department's workforce reflects the diversity of America and consists of approximately 26,500 employees in the Civil Service and the Foreign Service, and includes Foreign Service Nationals in the 162 countries where the United States is represented. The Department also operates the following: national passport centers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Charleston, South Carolina; national visa centers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Williamsburg, Kentucky; two foreign press centers; one reception center; 13 passport agencies; five offices that provide logistics support for overseas operations; 22 security offices; and three financial services centers, located overseas in Paris and Bangkok, and domestically in Charleston, South Carolina.

DOS Workforce Composition - Full-time permanent employees as of April 30, 2002:
Foreign Service National -- 36%
Foreign Service -- 38%
Civil Service -- 26%

Summary of Full-time Employees, FY 1996 - FY 2002 --
FY 1996:
Foreign Service Nationals -- 8212
Foreign Service -- 7994
Civil Service -- 5021
Total -- 21,227
FY 1997:
Foreign Service Nationals -- 7872
Foreign Service -- 7724
Civil Service -- 4977
Total -- 20,573
FY 1998:
Foreign Service Nationals -- 7637
Foreign Service -- 7769
Civil Service -- 5165
Total -- 20,571
FY 1999:
Foreign Service Nationals -- 7192
Foreign Service -- 8169
Civil Service -- 5498
Total -- 20,859
FY 2000*:
Foreign Service Nationals -- 9730
Foreign Service -- 9023
Civil Service -- 6486
Total -- 25,239
* Reflects integration of employees of the United States Information Agency (USIA) and the Arms Control Disarmament Agency (ACDA).
FY 2001:
Foreign Service Nationals -- 9852
Foreign Service -- 9162
Civil Service -- 6590
Total -- 25,604
FY 2002:
Foreign Service Nationals -- 9526
Foreign Service -- 9931
Civil Service -- 6999
Total -- 26,456

DOS Workforce -- Where Based:
Overseas -- 59%
United States -- 41%

Within the Department's headquarters in Washington, D.C., the mission is coordinated and managed through six regional bureaus, which are each responsible for a specific geographic region of the world. The regional bureaus and the overseas posts are supported by domestic offices (referred to as functional bureaus), which provide policy guidance, program management and administrative expertise in matters such as economics, intelligence, human rights, finance, administration, information management, personnel, training, medical services, consular services, and security programs.

In each Embassy, the Chief of Mission (usually an Ambassador) is responsible for coordinating and managing all U.S. Government functions in the host country. The President appoints each Ambassador, whom the Senate confirms. Chiefs of Mission report directly to the President through the Secretary. The Diplomatic Mission is also the primary U.S. Government contact for Americans overseas and foreign nationals of the host country. The Mission serves the needs of Americans traveling and working abroad, and supports Presidential and Congressional delegations visiting the country.

[Text version of two photos: First photo - View of present-day main State Department building from C Street; U.S. Department of State photo. Second photo - View of 1957 construction site/groundbreaking; Bureau of Diplomatic Security and Foreign Missions, U.S. Department of State photo. Caption reads: "Since 1789, the Department of State has been located in 17 buildings in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The Department's present home is 2201 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. On January 5, 1957, President Eisenhower joined Secretary Dulles to lay the cornerstone. The President used the same trowel that George Washington used to lay the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol in 1793. This "New State" building was completed in 1961. It adjoined the "Old State" building that was constructed in 1939."]

Map of Depatment of State Locations Worldwide

[also see Department of State Locations list]

Department of State world locations map from FY 2002 Performance and Accountability Report