United States Assistant Secretary of State

United States Assistant Secretary of State

The Assistant Secretary of State, from 1853 until 1913, was the second-ranking official within the American Department of State. Prior to 1853, the Chief Clerk was the second-ranking officer, and after 1913, the Counselor was the second-ranking position, though the Assistant Secretary continued to be a position until 1924. Specific duties of the incumbents varied over the years and included such responsibilities as supervising the Diplomatic and Consular Bureaus, general supervision of correspondence, consular appointments, administration of the Department, and supervision of economic matters and various geographic divisions. Today, the title of the second-ranking position is the Deputy Secretary of State.

In modern times, Assistant Secretary of State is a title used for many executive positions in the United States State Department. A set of six Assistant Secretaries reporting to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs manage diplomatic missions within their designated geographic regions, plus one Assistant Secretary dealing with international organizations, and another dealing with working with other countries on narcotics issues. Assistant Secretaries usually manage individual bureaus of the Department of State. When the manager of a bureau or another agency holds a title other than Assistant Secretary, such as "Director," it can be said to be of "Assistant Secretary equivalent rank."

List of Assistant Secretaries of State

econd Assistant Secretary of State

The "Consular and Diplomatic Appropriations Act" for the year ending June 30, 1867 authorized the President to appoint a Second Assistant Secretary of State. Duties of incumbents varied less over the years than did those of the other Assistant Secretary positions. Responsibilities included: supervision of correspondence with diplomatic officers; preparation of drafts of treaties, conventions, diplomatic notes, and instructions; detailed treatment of current diplomatic and political questions; approval of correspondence for the signature of the Secretary of Acting Secretary; and consultation on matters of diplomatic procedure, international law and policy, and traditional practices of the Department. The Foreign Service Act of 1924 abolished numerical titles for Assistant Secretaries of State. Only two people have served the position from 1866 to 1924.


External links

* [http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/rls/dos/436.htm The Department of State's organization page] .
* [http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/po/c1791.htm The Department of State's list of current or former positions and titles] .
* [http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/officers/asec5324.html The Department of State's list of Assistant Secretaries of State during the time it was the second-ranking position] .
* [http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/officers/sasec.html The Department of State's list of Second Assistant Secretaries of State during the time it was the third-ranking position] .

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