Secretary of State of the United States

United States Secretary of State

Official seal
Incumbent:
Condoleezza Rice
First Secretary of State:
Thomas Jefferson
Formation:
April 6, 1789
Presidential Line of Succession:
Fourth
{
1. ^ In addition to the President listed, this Secretary of State served for a brief period of time (eight days or less) under that President's successor until a replacement could be named and confirmed.


The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. He or she is the highest ranked cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence.

History

On January 13, 1781, the Second Continental Congress created the office of Secretary of Foreign Affairs to head a "Department of Foreign Affairs". On July 27, 1789, George Washington signed a congressional bill into law reauthorizing an executive Department of Foreign Affairs headed by a Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Congress then passed another law giving certain additional domestic responsibilities to the new Department and changing its name to the Department of State and the name of head of the department to the Secretary of State, and Washington approved this act on September 15, 1789. The new domestic duties assigned to the newly renamed department were receipt, publication, distribution, and preservation of laws of the United States, custody of the Great Seal of the United States, authentication of copies and preparation of commissions of executive branch appointments, and finally custody of the books, papers, and records of the Continental Congress including the Constitution itself and the Declaration of Independence.

The title of Secretary of State is British in origin. At the time of American independence, "Secretary of State" was a title given to senior members of the King's cabinet (e.g., "Secretary of State in Charge of Colonies"). The position of "Secretary of State of the United States" was thus intended to be the most general and important office in the U.S. government, after the Presidency.

Particularly in the early years of the republic, the post was regarded as a natural stepping-stone to the Presidency. Secretaries of State who later occupied the White House included Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren and James Buchanan. Secretaries who unsuccessfully ran for President (either before or after their service at the State Department) were Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, William H. Seward, James G. Blaine, Walter Q. Gresham, John Sherman, Elihu Root, William Jennings Bryan, Charles Evans Hughes and Edmund Muskie.

The current Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, has been mentioned as a Presidential or Vice Presidential prospect, although she has denied any such ambition.

Functions

Most of the non-original domestic functions of the Department of State have been transferred to other agencies. Those that remain in the Department are: storage and use of the Great Seal of the United States, performance of protocol functions for the White House, drafting of certain proclamations, formally accepting notice of the president's resignation, and replies to inquiries. In addition, the Secretary performs such duties as the President is required, in accordance with the United States Constitution, relating to correspondence, commission, or instructions to U.S. or consuls abroad, and to conduct negotiations with foreign representatives. The Secretary has also served as principal adviser to the President in the determination of U.S. foreign policy and in recent decades has become responsible for overall direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities of the U.S. Government overseas, excepting certain military activities.

As the highest-ranking Cabinet member, the Secretary of State is fourth in line to succeed the Presidency, after the Vice President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and President pro tempore of the Senate. (See United States presidential line of succession.)

Federal law provides that resignation from the Presidency is effected only by written communication from the President to the Secretary of State. (3 U.S.C. Section 20). This has only occurred once, when President Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974 via a letter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

List of Secretaries of State

# Picture Name State of Residence Term of Office President(s) served under
Start End
1Thomas JeffersonVirginiaSeptember 26, 1789December 31, 1793George Washington
2Edmund RandolphVirginiaJanuary 2, 1794August 20, 1795George Washington
3Timothy PickeringMassachusettsDecember 10, 1795May 12, 1800George Washington, John Adams
4John MarshallVirginiaJune 13, 1800February 4, 1801John Adams
5James MadisonVirginiaMay 2, 1801March 3, 1809Thomas Jefferson
6Robert SmithMarylandMarch 6, 1809April 1, 1811James Madison
7James MonroeVirginiaApril 2, 1811September 30, 1814
James Madison
February 28, 1815March 3, 1817
8John Quincy AdamsMassachusettsMarch 5, 1817March 3, 1825James Monroe
9Henry ClayKentuckyMarch 7, 1825March 3, 1829John Quincy Adams
10Martin Van BurenNew YorkMarch 28, 1829May 23, 1831Andrew Jackson
11Edward LivingstonLouisianaMay 24, 1831May 29, 1833Andrew Jackson
12Louis McLaneDelawareMay 29, 1833June 30, 1834Andrew Jackson
13John ForsythGeorgiaJuly 1, 1834March 3, 1841Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren
14Daniel WebsterMassachusettsMarch 6, 1841May 8, 1843William Harrison, John Tyler
15Abel P. UpshurVirginiaJuly 24, 1843February 28, 1844John Tyler
16John C. CalhounSouth CarolinaApril 1, 1844March 10, 1845John Tyler [1]
17James BuchananPennsylvaniaMarch 10, 1845March 7, 1849James Polk <ref name="bitmore" />
18John M. ClaytonDelawareMarch 8, 1849July 22, 1850Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore
19Daniel WebsterMassachusettsJuly 23, 1850October 24, 1852Millard Fillmore
20Edward EverettMassachusettsNovember 6, 1852March 3, 1853Millard Fillmore
21William L. MarcyNew YorkMarch 7, 1853March 6, 1857Franklin Pierce <ref name="bitmore" />
22Lewis CassMichiganMarch 6, 1857December 14, 1860James Buchanan
23Jeremiah S. BlackPennsylvaniaDecember 17, 1860March 5, 1861James Buchanan <ref name="bitmore" />
24William H. SewardNew YorkMarch 5, 1861March 4, 1869Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson
25Elihu B. WashburneIllinoisMarch 5, 1869March 16, 1869Ulysses Grant
26Hamilton FishNew YorkMarch 17, 1869March 12, 1877Ulysses Grant <ref name="bitmore" />
27William M. EvartsNew YorkMarch 12, 1877March 7, 1881Rutherford Hayes <ref name="bitmore" />
28James G. BlaineMaineMarch 7, 1881December 19, 1881James Garfield, Chester A. Arthur
29Frederick T. FrelinghuysenNew JerseyDecember 19, 1881March 6, 1885Chester Arthur <ref name="bitmore" />
30Thomas F. Bayard, Sr.DelawareMarch 7, 1885March 6, 1889Grover Cleveland <ref name="bitmore" />
31James G. BlaineMaineMarch 7, 1889June 4, 1892Benjamin Harrison
32John W. FosterIndianaJune 29, 1892February 23, 1893Benjamin Harrison
33Walter Q. GreshamIllinoisMarch 7, 1893May 28, 1895Grover Cleveland
34Richard OlneyMassachusettsJune 10, 1895March 5, 1897Grover Cleveland <ref name="bitmore" />
35John ShermanOhioMarch 6, 1897April 27, 1898William McKinley
36William R. DayOhioApril 28, 1898September 16, 1898William McKinley
37John HayDistrict of ColumbiaSeptember 30, 1898July 1, 1905William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt
38Elihu RootNew YorkJuly 19, 1905January 27, 1909Theodore Roosevelt
39Robert BaconNew YorkJanuary 27, 1909March 5, 1909Theodore Roosevelt <ref name="bitmore" />
40Philander C. KnoxPennsylvaniaMarch 6, 1909March 5, 1913William Taft <ref name="bitmore" />
41William Jennings BryanNebraskaMarch 5, 1913June 9, 1915Woodrow Wilson
42Robert LansingNew YorkJune 24, 1915February 13, 1920Woodrow Wilson
43Bainbridge ColbyNew YorkMarch 23, 1920March 4, 1921Woodrow Wilson
44Charles Evans HughesNew YorkMarch 5, 1921March 4, 1925Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge
45Frank B. KelloggMinnesotaMarch 5, 1925March 28, 1929Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover
46Henry L. StimsonNew YorkMarch 28, 1929March 4, 1933Herbert Hoover
47Cordell HullTennesseeMarch 4, 1933November 30, 1944Franklin Roosevelt
48Edward Stettinius, Jr.VirginiaDecember 1, 1944June 27, 1945Franklin Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman
49James F. ByrnesSouth CarolinaJuly 3, 1945January 21, 1947Harry Truman
50George MarshallPennsylvaniaJanuary 21, 1947January 20, 1949Harry Truman
51Dean AchesonMarylandJanuary 21, 1949January 20, 1953Harry Truman
52John Foster DullesNew YorkJanuary 21, 1953April 22, 1959Dwight Eisenhower
53Christian HerterMassachusettsApril 22, 1959January 20, 1961Dwight Eisenhower
54Dean RuskNew YorkJanuary 21, 1961January 20, 1969John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson
55William P. RogersMarylandJanuary 22, 1969September 3, 1973Richard Nixon
56Henry KissingerDistrict of ColumbiaSeptember 22, 1973January 20, 1977Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford
57Cyrus VanceNew YorkJanuary 23, 1977April 28, 1980Jimmy Carter
58Edmund MuskieMaineMay 8, 1980January 18, 1981Jimmy Carter
59Alexander HaigConnecticutJanuary 22, 1981July 5, 1982Ronald Reagan
60George P. ShultzCaliforniaJuly 16, 1982January 20, 1989Ronald Reagan
61James BakerTexasJanuary 25, 1989August 23, 1992George H. W. Bush
62Lawrence EagleburgerFloridaDecember 8, 1992January 19, 1993George H. W. Bush
63Warren ChristopherCaliforniaJanuary 20, 1993January 17, 1997Bill Clinton
64Madeleine AlbrightDistrict of ColumbiaJanuary 23, 1997January 19, 2001Bill Clinton
65Colin PowellVirginiaJanuary 20, 2001January 26, 2005George W. Bush
66Condoleezza RiceCaliforniaJanuary 26, 2005PresentGeorge W. Bush


<references />

List of Acting Secretaries of State

When there is a vacancy as Secretary, the United States Assistant Secretary of State or the United States Deputy Secretary of State serves as Acting Secretary of State until the President nominates and the United States Senate confirms a new Secretary.

# Name Term of Office President(s) served under
Start End
1John JayMarch 4, 1790March 22, 1790George Washington
2Timothy PickeringAugust 20, 1795December 9, 1795George Washington
3Charles LeeMay 13, 1800June 5, 1800John Adams
4John MarshallFebruary 4, 1801March 4, 1801John Adams
5Levi Lincoln, Sr.March 5, 1801May 1, 1801Thomas Jefferson
6John GrahamMarch 4, 1817March 9, 1817James Monroe
7Richard RushMarch 10, 1817September 22, 1817James Monroe
8Daniel BrentMarch 4, 1825March 7, 1825John Quincy Adams
9James A. HamiltonMarch 4, 1829March 27, 1829Andrew Jackson
10Jacob L. MartinMarch 4, 1841March 5, 1841William Henry Harrison
11Hugh S. LegaréMay 9, 1843June 20, 1843John Tyler
12William S. DerrickJune 21, 1843June 23, 1843John Tyler
13Abel P. UpshurJune 24, 1843July 23, 1843John Tyler
14John NelsonFebruary 29, 1844March 31, 1844John Tyler
15Charles M. ConradOctober 25, 1852November 5, 1852Millard Fillmore
16William HunterMarch 4, 1853March 7, 1853Franklin Pierce
17William HunterDecember 15, 1860December 16, 1860James Buchanan
18William F. WhartonJune 4, 1892June 29, 1892Benjamin Harrison
19William F. WhartonFebruary 24, 1893March 6, 1893Benjamin Harrison (2/24-3/4), Grover Cleveland (3/4-3/6)
20Edwin F. UhlMay 28, 1895June 9, 1895Grover Cleveland
21Alvey A. AdeeSeptember 17, 1898September 29, 1898William McKinley
22Francis B. LoomisJuly 1, 1905July 18, 1905Theodore Roosevelt
23Robert LansingJune 9, 1915June 23, 1915Woodrow Wilson
24Frank L. PolkFebruary 14, 1920March 12, 1920Woodrow Wilson
25Joseph C. GrewJune 28, 1945July 3, 1945Harry S. Truman
26H. Freeman MatthewsJanuary 20, 1953January 21, 1953Dwight Eisenhower
27Livingston T. MerchantJanuary 20, 1961January 21, 1961John F. Kennedy
28Charles E. BohlenJanuary 20, 1969January 22, 1969Richard Nixon
29Kenneth RushSeptember 3, 1973September 22, 1973Richard Nixon
30Philip C. HabibJanuary 20, 1977January 23, 1977Jimmy Carter
31Warren ChristopherApril 28, 1980May 2, 1980Jimmy Carter
32David NewsomMay 2, 1980May 3, 1980Jimmy Carter
33Richard N. CooperMay 3, 1980Jimmy Carter
34David NewsomMay 3, 1980May 4, 1980Jimmy Carter
35Warren ChristopherMay 4, 1980May 8, 1980Jimmy Carter
36Walter J. Stoessel, Jr.July 5, 1982July 16, 1982Ronald Reagan
37Michael H. ArmacostJanuary 20, 1989January 25, 1989George H. W. Bush
38Lawrence EagleburgerAugust 23, 1992December 8, 1992George H. W. Bush
39Arnold Lee KanterJanuary 20, 1993Bill Clinton
40Frank G. WisnerJanuary 20, 1993Bill Clinton

See also

References

External links

Condoleezza Rice (born November 14 1954) is the 66th United States Secretary of State, and the second in the administration of President George W. Bush to hold the office. Rice is the first African American woman, second African American (after Colin Powell, who served before her
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United States
Department of State


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Formed July 27, 1789

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Foreign Affairs
Type Bi-monthly Journal
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Owner Council on Foreign Relations
Editor James F. Hoge, Jr.
Founded 1922
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Website: http://www.foreignaffairs.
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