Mission and Organization

FY 2005 Performance and Accountability Report
Bureau of Resource Management
November 2005


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



Photo showing the Department of State building.

State Department/Ann Thomas

American diplomacy is based on the fundamental beliefs that our freedom is best protected when others are free; our prosperity depends on the prosperity of others; and our security relies on a global effort to defend the rights of all. In this extraordinary moment in history, when the rise of freedom is transforming societies around the world, we recognize that the United States has an immense responsibility to use its diplomatic influence constructively to advance security, democracy, and prosperity around the globe.

The Department of State is the lead institution for the conduct of American diplomacy, and the Secretary of State is the President's principal foreign policy advisor. All foreign affairs activities - U.S. representation abroad, foreign assistance programs, countering international crime, foreign military training programs, and services the Department provides to American citizens abroad - are paid for by the foreign affairs budget, which represents little more than 1% of the total federal budget, or about 12 cents a day for each American citizen. This small investment is essential to maintaining U.S. leadership abroad, which promotes and protects the interests of American citizens by:

  • Promoting peace and stability in regions of vital interest;
  • Creating jobs at home by opening markets abroad;
  • Helping developing nations establish investment and export opportunities;
  • Bringing nations together to address global problems such as cross-border pollution, the spread of communicable diseases, terrorism, nuclear smuggling, and humanitarian crises.

At our headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Department's mission is carried out through six regional bureaus - each of which is responsible for a specific geographic region of the world - the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and numerous functional and management bureaus. These bureaus provide policy guidance, program management, administrative support, and in-depth expertise in matters such as law enforcement, economics, the environment, intelligence, arms control, human rights, counternarcotics, counterterrorism, public diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, security, nonproliferation, consular services, and other areas.

The Department operates approximately 260 embassies, consulates, and other posts worldwide. In each Embassy, the Chief of Mission (usually an Ambassador) is responsible for executing U.S. foreign policy goals and 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.

The Department operates national passport centers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Charleston, South Carolina; a national visa center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and a consular center in Williamsburg, Kentucky; two foreign press centers; one reception center; 13 passport agencies; five offices that provide logistics support for overseas operations; 20 security offices; and two financial service centers.



Photo showing Secretary Rice congratulating honorees at the State Department's Employee Awards Ceremony.

Secretary Rice congratulates honorees at the State Department's Employee Awards Ceremony. State Department/Michael Gross

In the business of diplomacy, people are critical. The Department's success in achieving its mission is directly tied to the creativity, knowledge, skills and integrity of our dedicated team of employees. The Department's Foreign Service, Civil Service and Foreign Service National employees serve at Headquarters, embassies, consulates, and other posts in over 260 locations around the world. Our employees are committed to carrying out the President's foreign policy agenda and to sharing American values with the world.

The Foreign Service and the Civil Service in the Department of State 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 a corps of over 11,000 employees. Foreign Service Officers are dedicated to representing America and responding to the needs of American citizens living and traveling around the world. They also are America's first line of defense in a complex and often dangerous world. A Foreign Service career is a way of life that requires uncommon commitment. It offers unique rewards, opportunities, and sometimes hardships. Members of the Foreign Service can be sent to any embassy, consulate, or other diplomatic mission anywhere in the world, at any time, to serve the diplomatic needs of the United States.

The Department's Civil Service corps, totaling over 8,000 employees, provides continuity and expertise in accomplishing all aspects of the Department's mission. Civil Service officers, most of whom are headquartered in Washington, DC., are involved in virtually every policy area of the Department - from democracy and human rights to narcotics control, trade, and environmental issues. They also are the domestic counterpart to consular officers abroad, issuing passports and assisting U.S. citizens overseas.

Nearly 9,000 Foreign Service National (host country) employees contribute to advancing the work of the Department overseas. These essential employees contribute local expertise and provide continuity as they work with their American colleagues to perform vital services for U.S. citizens and ensure the effective operation of our diplomatic posts.



The tables below show the distribution of the Department's workforce by employment category, as well as what proportion of the workforce is located overseas.

Workforce Composition: Full-time Permanent Employees
As of September 30, 2005
Service Type Percentage of Workforce
Civil Service 28%
Foreign Service 40%
Foreign Service National 32%
Workforce Location: Full-time Permanent Employees
As of September 30, 2005
Location Percentage of Workforce
Overseas 58%
Domestic 42%


Since FY 1997, the total number of employees at the Department has increased by 37% with the greatest increase manifested in the Department's Civil Service staff, which has increased by 63%. During that time, the Foreign Service increased by 45% and the Foreign Service National staff increased by 14%. The overall increases in staffing reflect the Department's increased emphasis on security, public diplomacy, counterterrorism, and management reforms.

Summary of Full-time Permanent EmployeesRead Footnote 11
  FY 1997 FY 1998 FY 1999 FY 2000Read Footnote 22 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005
Civil Service 4,977 5,165 5,498 6,486 6,590 6,999 7,731 7,831 8,092
Foreign Service 7,724 7,769 8,169 9,023 9,162 9,931 10,579 10,988 11,238
Foreign Service Nationals 7,872 7,637 7,192 9,730 9,852 9,526 9,897 8,419 8,964
Total 20,573 20,571 20,859 25,239 25,604 26,456 28,207 27,238 28,294


  1. These numbers do not include Foreign Service Nationals employed under personal service agreements or as personal service contractors.(back to text)
  2. Reflects integration of employees of the United States Information Agency and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.(back to text)


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