United States Secretary of State
Secretary of State
|Appointer||President of the United States|
|Formation||April 6, 1789|
|First holder||Thomas Jefferson|
The United States Secretary of State (commonly abbreviated as SecState) is the head of the United States Department of State. This department deals with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. This person is the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence. The President chooses the person he or she wants to be Secretary of the State. The United States Senate must agree with this choice for the person to become the Secretary of State. Rex Tillerson is the current acting Secretary of State. He became Secretary on February 1st, 2017, being confirmed by the Senate in a 56-43 vote.
The position of Secretary of State was created in April 6, 1789. Thomas Jefferson was the first Secretary. The Presidential order of succession lists the Secretary of State as the 4th person in line if something happens to the President.
Duties[change | change source]
The first duties of the Secretary of State included:
- Publication, distribution, and preservation of the laws of the United States
- Managing the commissions of people the President puts into office.
- Custody of the Great Seal of the United States
- Custody of the records of the former Secretary of the Continental Congress, except for those of the Treasury and War Departments
The following are the responsibilities of the Secretary of State. These were added to the duties over time.
- In control of the United States Department of State and the United States Foreign Service.
- Adviser to the President on matters dealing with other countries. This includes choosing diplomats to other nations and dealing with diplomats from other nations.
- Takes part in high-level negotiations with other countries. The Secretary deals with both single nations and international conferences or organizations. This includes the negotiation of international treaties.
- In control of the direction, coordination, and supervision of activities of the U.S. Government in other countries when more than one government department is involved.
- Support U.S. citizens living or traveling in other countries. This includes information, passports, visas and other services.
- Supervises the United States immigration policy in other countries.
- Communicates problems dealing with the United States foreign policy to Congress and to U.S. citizens.