Department of State Organization Chart
President Bush speaks during the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change, Friday, September 28, 2007, at the Department of State in Washington. AP Image
State Department/Ann Thomas
Congress established the U.S. Department of State in 1789, replacing the Department of Foreign Affairs, which was established in 1781. 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 a little more than 1% of the total federal budget. 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. State's organizational chart is contained in the Appendix.
The Department operates more than 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.