Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs


Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

The Under Secretary for Political Affairs is the third ranking position in the United States Department of State, after the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary. The Under Secretary serves as the day-to-day manager of overall regional and bilateral policy issues, and oversees the bureaus for Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, the Near East, South Asia, the Western Hemisphere, International Organizations, and International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. The Under Secretary is advised by Assistant Secretaries of the geographic bureaus, who guide U.S. diplomatic missions within their regional jurisdiction. [cite web | title="Under Secretary for Political Affairs" | url=http://www.state.gov/p/ | accessdate= September 20 | accessyear= 2007 ] The most recent Under Secretary was R. Nicholas Burns, who was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in by the Secretary of State on March 17, 2005 after being appointed by the President. [cite web | title="Burns, R. Nicholas" | url=http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/6198.htm | accessdate= September 20 | accessyear= 2007 ] Burns retired from the Foreign Service in 2008; current United States Ambassador to Russia William Joseph Burns (no relation) has been nominated to replace him.

The political bureaus were first overseen in 1949 by a Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs. Prior to the creation of the position of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in August 1959, the Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs assisted the Secretary and Under Secretary of State in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy. After August 1959, the Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs served as a focal point for interdepartmental relations, especially those dealing with politico-military issues. During 1969, the Department discontinued the position and created a new Bureau for Politico-Military Affairs, which exists today as the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs under another Under Secretary. [cite web | title="History of the U.S. Department of State" | url=http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/dephis.html | accessdate= September 20 | accessyear= 2007 ] cite web | title="Under Secretaries of State for Political Affairs" | url=http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/po/12038.htm | accessdate= September 20 | accessyear= 2007 ]


=List of Under Secretaries for Political Affairs=

References


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