Permanent U.S. Missions
The following publication provides an overview of the organization of the Department of State. Additional resources include an organization chart, a list of bureaus and offices, and the publication Diplomacy: The State Department at Work, which provides a more detailed look at how the Department formulates, represents, and implements the President's foreign policy.
The Executive Branch and the Congress have constitutional responsibilities for U.S. foreign policy. Within the Executive Branch, the Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency, and the Secretary of State is the President's principal foreign policy adviser. The Department advances U.S. objectives and interests in shaping a freer, more secure, and more prosperous world through its primary role in developing and implementing the President's foreign policy. The Department also supports the foreign affairs activities of other U.S. Government entities including the Department of Commerce and the Agency for International Development. It also provides an array of important services to U.S. citizens and to foreigners seeking to visit or immigrate to the U.S.
All foreign affairs activitiesU.S. representation abroad, foreign assistance programs, countering international crime, foreign military training programs, the services the Department provides, and moreare paid for by the foreign affairs budget, which represents little more than 1% of the total federal budget, or about 12 cents a day for each American citizen. This small investment is key to maintaining U.S. leadership, which promotes and protects the interests of our citizens by:
As the lead foreign affairs agency, the Department of State has the primary role in:
The services the Department provides include:
The Department of State conducts all of these activities with a small workforce comprised of Civil Service and Foreign Service employees. In fact, the Department employs fewer people than do many local governmentsfor example, in Memphis, Tennessee or Baltimore, Maryland. Overseas, Foreign Service officers represent America; analyze and report on political, economic, and social trends in the host country; and respond to the needs of American citizens abroad. The U.S. maintains diplomatic relations with about 180 countries and also maintains relations with many international organizations, adding up to a total of more than 250 posts around the world. In the United States, about 5,000 professional, technical, and administrative Civil Service employees work along side Foreign Service officers serving a stateside tour, compiling and analyzing reports from overseas, providing logistical support to posts, consulting with and keeping the Congress informed about foreign policy initiatives and policies, communicating with the American public, formulating and overseeing the budget, issuing passports and travel warnings, and more.
Bureaus and Offices of the Department of State in the U.S.
The Deputy Secretary (D) serves as the principal deputy, adviser, and alter ego to the Secretary of State; serves as Acting Secretary of State in the Secretary's absence; and assists the Secretary in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy and in giving general supervision and direction to all elements of the Department.
The Executive Secretariat (S/S), comprised of the Executive Secretary and three Deputy Executive Secretaries, is responsible for coordination of the work of the Department internally, serving as the liaison between the Department's bureaus and the offices of the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Under Secretaries. It also handles the Department's relations with the White House, National Security Council, and other Cabinet agencies.
In addition, there are several other offices attached to the Secretary's office:
Created in 1947 by George Kennan at the behest of Secretary George Marshall, the Policy Planning Staff (S/P) serves as a source of independent policy analysis and advice for the Secretary of State. The Director of Policy Planning has a rank equivalent to Assistant Secretary. S/P's primary responsibilities include formulation of long-term policies to achieve U.S. objectives; coordination of policy to promote the priorities of the Secretary of State; speech writing for the Secretary; and liaison with non-governmental organizations, "think tanks," and others for outside views on matters relevant to U.S. policy.
The Office of Resources, Plans, and Policy (S/RPP) advises the Secretary of State on the International Affairs (Function 150) budget, coordinates with other departments and agencies to ensure that resources support key national security and foreign policy priorities, and assists the Secretary in allocating foreign assistance. Among the important budget documents produced by S/RPP each year are: (1) the Summary and Highlights of the International Affairs Budget Request and (2) the Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations.
S/RPP also helps lead the strategic and performance planning process of the Department. As a member of the strategic planning team, which includes the Office of Management Policy and Planning (M/P), the Bureau of Financial Management and Policy (FMP), and the Bureau of Human Resources (DGHR), S/RPP directs planning by overseas missions and domestic bureaus. S/RPP co-manages revising: (1) the United States International Affairs Strategic Plan and (2) the U.S. Department of State Strategic Plan.
The Office of Protocol (S/CPR), under the direction of the Chief of Protocol, directly advises, assists, and supports the President of the United States, the Vice President, and the Secretary of State on official matters of national and international protocol, and in the planning, hosting, and officiating of related ceremonial events and activities for visiting heads of state. The Office also is the administrator of Blair House, the President's official guesthouse. In cooperation with the Under Secretary for Management, the Assistant Secretary of State for Administration, the Executive Secretary of the Department, and the regional bureaus, the Office of Protocol serves as the coordinator within and between the Department and the White House on all protocol matters for Presidential or Vice Presidential travel abroad. The Chief of Protocol, the Deputy Chief, and four Assistant Chiefs share responsibility for officiating the swearing in of senior State Department officials, selection boards, and incoming Foreign Service and Civil Service employees.
The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT) heads U.S. Government efforts to improve counterterrorism cooperation with foreign governments. The Coordinator chairs the Interagency Working Group on Counterterrorism and the State Department's task force to coordinate responses to international terrorist incidents. The Coordinator has primary responsibility for developing, coordinating, and implementing American counterterrorism policy.
Other offices attached to the Office of the Secretary deal with personnel issues, including the Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights Office, the Civil Service Ombudsman, and the Foreign Service Grievance Board. There are also several offices headed by ambassadors at large, special advisers, and senior coordinators for such foreign policy areas as War Crimes and Democracy in the Balkans.
In addition, the following bureaus and offices, although not attached to the Office of the Secretary, report directly to the Secretary.
The Office of the Permanent Representative to the United Nations (USUN/W) is headed by the Permanent Representative, a Cabinet member who represents the United States at the UN. This office shapes U.S. policy at the UN, working for multilateral policy formulation and implementation where possible and seeking to make the UN and its agencies more effective instruments for advancing U.S. interests and addressing global needs.
The Bureau of Legislative Affairs (H) serves as liaison between the State Department and the Congress. The bureau performs a critical role in advancing the President's and the Department's legislative agenda in the area of foreign policy.
The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), drawing on all-source intelligence, provides value-added independent analysis of events to Department policymakers, ensures that intelligence activities support foreign policy and national security purposes; and serves as the focal point in the Department for ensuring policy review of sensitive counterintelligence and law enforcement activities. INR's primary mission is to harness intelligence to serve U.S. diplomacy. The bureau also analyzes geographical and international boundary issues, and developed the Geographic Learning Site (GLS) for K-12 students.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is an independent office that audits, inspects, and investigates the programs and activities of all elements of the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors for International Broadcasting. The Inspector General reports directly to the Secretary, the Broadcasting Board of Governors and to the Congress on the results of this work and makes recommendations to promote economy and efficiency and to prevent fraud, waste, and mismanagement in State Department and international broadcasting programs and operations.
The Office of the Legal Adviser (L) furnishes advice on all legal issues, domestic and international, arising in the course of the Department's work. This includes assisting department principals and policy officers in formulating and implementing the foreign policy of the United States and promoting the development of international law and its institutions as a fundamental element of those policies.
Also, although the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) remains an independent agency following the reorganization of the foreign affairs agencies in 1999 in which the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the United States Information Agency (USIA) were merged into the Department of State, USAID receives general direction and overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary.
Counselor of the Department
Under Secretaries and Their Components
Offices and bureaus that do not report directly to the Secretary are organized in groups to support policy planning, coordination, and execution by the six Under Secretaries, as follows:
Under Secretary for Political Affairs (P) Group
The geographic bureaus coordinate the conduct of U.S. foreign relations. The Department has grouped countries of the world in the following areas of responsibility under six bureaus and one office. These are:
The Assistant Secretaries of these geographic bureaus advise the Under Secretary and guide the operation of the U.S. diplomatic missions within their regional jurisdiction. They are assisted by Deputy Assistant Secretaries, office directors, post management officers, and country desk officers. These officials work closely with U.S. embassies and consulates overseas and with foreign embassies in Washington, DC.
The State Department's Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) develops and implements the policies of the U.S. Government within the United Nations and its affiliated agencies, as well as within certain other international organizations. The IO Bureau does this via nine offices in Washington and seven field missions: in New York, Geneva, Vienna, Rome, Paris, Montreal, and Nairobi. Together, the various elements of the IO Bureau engage in what is known as "multilateral diplomacy" to promote and defend the many overlapping interests of the American people. Subject areas addressed by the IO Bureau include: peacekeeping, democracy and human rights, humanitarian and refugee assistance, international trade, economic development, safe food production, transportation safety, public health, terrorism, and the environment. To meet these objectives, the IO Bureau also promotes effective and efficient management within the international organizations themselves.
Under Secretary for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs (E) Group
The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) promotes the full range of U.S. economic and business interests around the world and in so doing, fosters regional and global stability, creates and secures good jobs, enhances consumer choice, lowers the prices Americans pay for goods and services, protects interests of U.S. business and investors abroad, advances commercial ties around the world, improves international communications systems, and promotes energy security and safe and efficient global transportation.
Within EB, the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (EB/CBA):
Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security (T)
The Bureau of Arms Control (AC) leads U.S. negotiations for arms control agreements for nuclear, conventional, and chemical and biological weapons and their delivery systems. The Bureau will head up negotiations for a cutoff of fissile material production and an end to antipersonnel landmine transfer. In addition, the Bureau has the U.S. lead for negotiations and policy development related to efforts such as the Open Skies treaty and Confidence and Security Building Measures that help reduce the causes of mistrust, fear, and hostility amongst modern states. The AC Bureau leads implementation of all arms control agreements, including the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions.
The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM) manages political-military relations throughout the world, including training and assistance for foreign militaries, and works to maintain global access for U.S. military forces. PM promotes responsible U.S. defense trade, while controlling foreign access to militarily significant technology, through export controls. PM also coordinates U.S. programs that help rid countries of landmines and other conventional weapons. PM helps protect national security by leading interagency efforts to plan for future crisesincluding planning U.S. responses to cyber-attacks against vital computer networks or to nuclear, biological, or chemical attacks overseas.
The Nonproliferation Bureau leads U.S. efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons) and their missile delivery systems; to secure nuclear materials in the states of the former Soviet Union; and to promote nuclear safety and the protection of nuclear materials worldwide. It also promotes responsibility, transparency, and restraint in international transfers of conventional arms and sensitive dual-use (commercial and military) technology.
The Bureau for Verification and Compliance (VC) is responsible within the Department for the overall supervision of all matters relating to verification of and compliance with international arms control, non-proliferation, and disarmament agreements and commitments. To this end the Bureau has oversight of policy development, implementation and resources related to verification and compliance. In this regard, the Bureau prepares the President's Annual Report to the Congress on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control and Nonproliferation Agreements and Commitments. The Bureau also serves as the Department's verification and compliance policy liaison with the intelligence community, which includes providing guidance on funding and priorities for collection and analytic assets. As the lead in the Department for preserving and seeding development of verification technologies (e.g. managing the Verification Assets Fund), the Bureau heads the interagency Nonproliferation and Arms Control Technology Working Group (NPAC TWG). The VC Bureau also leads and coordinates multilateral negotiations in the EU, APEC, OECD, and other fora that address existing and emerging Information Technology threats and vulnerabilities to our economic security. The Bureau further leads and coordinates all bilateral negotiations and meetings aimed at identifying, developing, and facilitating science and technology solutions for critical infrastructure protection. The Nuclear Risk Reduction Center (NRRC) is also operated by the VC Bureau.
Under Secretary for Management (M)
The Office of Management Policy (M/P) serves as a focal point for management improvement initiatives by providing dedicated policy, and analytical support to the Under Secretary for Management (M).
On behalf of the Under Secretary for Management, M/P coordinates cross-cutting management policy issues, including the Departments response to the Presidents Management Agenda. M/P is responsible for writing and securing interagency clearance on the Letter of Instruction sent by the President to his Ambassadors outlining their roles and responsibilities for the management of all U.S. Government operations in their missions. M/P also chairs the Permanent Coordinating Committee on Accountability Review Boards which review major security incidents overseas such as the bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is the Department's lead official responsible for the information technology (IT) operations, policies and plans needed to achieve strategic Department missions. The CIO is the equivalent of an assistant secretary, and serves as the Secretary of State's and the Under Secretary for Management's principal advisor on IT matters. The CIO also heads the Department's Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM). The IRM Bureau's mission is to provide the Department of State the reliable, secure, and high quality IT infrastructure and services that are fundamental to foreign affairs operations and the conduct of U.S. diplomacy.
The Foreign Service Institute (M/FSI) is the federal government training institution that prepares American diplomats and other professionals to advance U.S. foreign affairs interests overseas and in Washington. At the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, the FSI provides more than 300 courses to more than 15,000 people a year from the State Department and about 40 other government agencies and the military service branches.
The FSI's programs include courses in administrative, consular, economic/commercial, political, public diplomacy, and information management fields; leadership and management development; crisis management training; study of the world's major regions and countries; and training in some 60 languages from Albanian to Vietnamese. Other courses help family members prepare for the demands of a mobile lifestyle and living abroad. Most recently, FSI been making some courses available to U.S. private businesses that operate overseas.
The Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources (M/DGHR) oversees the Bureau of Human Resources (M/DGHR), the Office of Medical Services, and the Family Liaison Office. M/DGHR determines employment requirements and administers recruitment, assignment evaluation, promotion, discipline, career development, and retirement policies and programs for the Department's Foreign and Civil Service employees.
The Bureau of Administration (A) provides support programs to the Department of State and U.S. embassies and consulates. These programs include: real property and facilities management; procurement; supply and transportation; diplomatic pouch and mail services; official records, publishing, and library services; language services; setting allowance rates for U.S. Government personnel assigned abroad and providing support to the overseas schools educating their dependents; overseeing safety and occupational health matters; small and disadvantaged business utilization; and support for both White House travel abroad and special conferences called by the President or Secretary of State.
Direct services to the public and other government agencies include: authenticating documents used abroad for legal and business purposes; responding to requests under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts and providing the Electronic Reading Room for public reference to State Department records and information access programs; printing official publications; and determining use of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the Harry S Truman headquarters building in Washington, D.C.
The Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) assists American citizens traveling or living abroad and issues visas to foreign nationals who wish to visit or reside in the United States. The Bureau's domestic passport agencies and U.S. consular sections overseas issue about 7.5 million passports each year. Annually, the Office of Overseas Citizens Services monitors the cases of an estimated 2,600 Americans arrested in other countries, responds to 21,000 welfare and whereabouts inquiries, repatriates about 1,000 U.S. citizens, assists about 3,000 returnees with family/friend prepaid trust funds, assists in the cases of some 6,000 Americans who die abroad, and deals with crisessuch as hostage-taking, mass casualty situations, and natural disasters. The Bureau also issues Consular Information Sheets, Travel Warnings, and Public Announcements that provide important information to American citizens considering foreign travel.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security's (DS) regional security officers and engineers protect U.S. personnel and missions overseas, advising U.S. ambassadors on all security matters and providing an effective security program against terrorist, espionage, and criminal threats at U.S. diplomatic facilities. In the U.S., the bureau's special agents investigate passport and visa fraud, conduct personnel security investigations, issue security clearances, and protect the Secretary of State and many visiting foreign dignitaries. The Bureau also manages the Counter-terrorism Rewards Program, and trains foreign civilian police under the Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program. It also chairs the Overseas Security Advisory Council, a joint venture between the Department and the U.S. private sector to exchange timely information on security problems with U.S. businesses. The bureau's Office of Foreign Missions regulates selected activities of foreign missions in the United States to protect U.S. foreign policy and national security interests, and also helps foreign missions protect their diplomats and facilities. The office also helps protect the public from abuses of diplomatic privilege and immunity by foreign mission members and works to ensure that privileges granted to each foreign country's diplomatic personnel in the U.S. are equitable to that granted to U.S. diplomatic personnel in that country.
The Bureau of Resource Management (RM) oversees the Department's worldwide financial and asset management activities. RM develops annual budget requests submitted to the Office of Management and Budget and the Congress; monitors financial execution of the budget; and reviews, on a biennial basis, the fees, royalties, rents, and other charges imposed by the Department for goods and services it provides. It leads Department-wide strategic planning activities. RM also has the lead for the implementing the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993. These efforts provide the linkage between foreign policy and management priorities.
In addition, the bureau performs payroll servicessuch as foreign currency management and accounting, payroll, and fiscal records monitoringand provides pension services for Foreign Service employees.
Under Secretary for Global Affairs (G) Group
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) oversees initiatives and policies to promote and strengthen democratic institutions, civil society, and respect for human and worker rights. The bureau ensures that human rights and labor conditions in foreign countries are taken into account in the U.S. policy-making process. In support of these efforts, the bureau prepares and submits to the Congress annual reports on human rights practices and religious freedom in countries around the world.
The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is charged with reducing illicit drug flows to the U.S. It works with foreign governments to reduce illicit drug crop cultivation and trafficking through crop control, enforcement, and alternative development programs. Through its training programs, it strengthens the ability of foreign law enforcement and judicial institutions to investigate, prosecute, incarcerate, and seize the assets of major drug traffickers and other international criminals.
The bureau's training and information-sharing programs also help combat money laundering, fraud and other financial crimes, public corruption, and the international trafficking of illegal aliens, women and children, stolen vehicles, and firearms.
The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) melds an emphasis on environmental issues and science and technology with traditional diplomacy. The bureau, along with environment, science, and technology officers overseas, deals with such global issues as trade and environment; biodiversity; global climate change; environmental pollution; oceans policy, fisheries, and marine conservation; international civil and commercial space cooperation; technology; and health.
The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) coordinates the Department's policy on global population, refugees, and migration issues and manages migration and refugee assistance appropriations. The bureau is at the center of a cooperative effort among the State Department, other U.S. Government agencies, private voluntary organizations, and international agencies to implement a more comprehensive international population policy, including broadening of population assistance programs to cover a wider range of reproductive health services; provide assistance to refugees in first-asylum countries and admit refugees to the United States for permanent resettlement; and develop bilateral and multilateral approaches to international migration issues.
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R)
The Bureau of Public Affairs helps Americans understand U.S. foreign policy and the importance of foreign affairs by holding press briefings; hosting "town meetings" and other conferences around the U.S. and arranging local, regional, and national radio and television interviews with key Department officials; and providing audio-visual products and services. The bureau provides additional information and services by maintaining the State Department website at http://state.gov and a telephone information line (202-647-6575) for public inquiries. In addition, the Office of the Historian provides historical research and advice for the Department of State and publishes the official documentary history of U.S. foreign policy.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. It does this in close cooperation with State Department posts through cultural and professional exchanges and presenting U.S. history, society, art, and culture in all of its diversity to overseas audiences.
The Office of International Information Programs (IIP) is the principal international communications service for the U.S. foreign affairs community. IIP has a variety of information initiatives and strategic communications programs, including Internet and print publications, traveling and electronically transmitted speaker programs, and information resource services. These are created only for key international audiences, such as the media, government officials, opinion leaders, and the general public in more than 140 countries around the world.
Organization of the Department of State Abroad
Most missions have personnel assigned from other executive branch agencies in addition to those from the Department of State; in some cases, State Department employees may account for less than one-half of the mission staff. Department of State employees at missions comprise U.S.-based political appointees and career diplomats, and Foreign Service Nationals. The last are local residents, who provide continuity for the transient American staff and have language and cultural expertise; they also are employed at post by other agencies.
Other executive branch agencies represented may include the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Defense, and Justice (the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation) and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Other U.S. Government agencies also make vital contributions to the success of U.S. foreign relations and in promoting U.S. interests.
The Chief of Missionwith the title of Ambassador, Minister, or Charge d'Affairesand the Deputy Chief of Mission head the mission's "country team" of U.S. Government personnel. Responsibilities of Chiefs of Mission at post also include:
The country team has responsibilities covering the following areas:
Consular Affairs. Whether in a U.S. embassy or a consulate, consular officers at post are the State Department employees whom both American citizens overseas and foreign nationals are most likely to meet. Consular officers protect U.S. citizens abroad and their property. Overall, they touch the lives of millions of Americans living and traveling abroad:
Consular officers provide emergency loans to U.S. citizens who become destitute while traveling abroad, search for missing Americans at the request of their friends or family, visit arrested Americans in prison, maintain lists of local attorneys, act as liaison with police and other officials on matters that affect the welfare of American citizens, re-issue lost or stolen passports, assist in resolving international parental kidnaping cases, help next of kin when American relatives die abroad, and generally provide many types of assistance to U.S. citizens abroad.
Consular officers also perform non-emergency servicesdispensing information on absentee voting, Selective Service registration, and acquisition and loss of U.S. citizenship; providing U.S. tax forms; notarizing documents; issuing passports; and processing estate and property claims. U.S. consular officers also issue about 6 million nonimmigrant visas annually to foreign nationals who wish to visit, work or study in the United States and almost 500,000 immigrant visas to those who wish to reside here permanently.
Commercial, Economic, and Financial Affairs. By helping American businesses abroad, the Department helps Americans at home, since every $1 billion in exported goods generates about 20,000 jobs in the United States. State and Commerce Department officers specialize in four areas:
Commercial officers advise U.S. businesses on local trade and tariff laws, government procurement procedures, and business practices; identify potential importers, agents, distributores, and joint venture partners; and assist with resolution of trade and investment disputes.
Economic officers advise U.S. businesses on the local investment climate and economic trends; negotiate trade and investment agreements to open markets and level the playing field; analyze and report on macroeconomic trends and trade policies and their potential impact on U.S. interests; and promote adoption of economic policies by foreign countries which further U.S. interests.
Resource officers counsel U.S. businesses on issues of natural resourcesincluding minerals, oil, and gas and energyand analyze and report on local natural resource trends and trade policies and their potential impact on U.S. interests.
Financial attaches analyze and report on major financial developments as well as the host country's macro-economic condition.
Agricultural and Scientific Matters. Agricultural officers promote the export of U.S. agricultural products and report on agricultural production and market developments in their area. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service officers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture are responsible for animal and plant health issues that affect U.S. trade and the protection of U.S. agriculture from foreign pests and diseases. They also expedite U.S. exports affected by technical sanitary and phytosanitary regulations.
Environment, science, technology, and health officers analyze and report on developments in these areas and their potential impact on U.S. policies and programs.
Political, Labor, and Defense Assistance Issues. Political officers analyze political developments and their potential impact on U.S. interests; promote adoption by the host country of foreign policy decisions which support U.S. interests; and advise U.S. business executives on the local political climate.
Labor officers promote labor policies in countries to support U.S. interests and provide information on local labor laws and practices, including wages, non-wage costs, social security regulations, the political activities of local labor organizations, and labor attitudes toward American investments.
Many posts have defense attaches from the Department of Defense. Security assistance officers are responsible for Defense Cooperation in Armaments and foreign military sales. They also function as the primary in-country point of contact for the U.S. defense industry and U.S. businesses.
Administrative Support and Security Functions. Administrative officers are responsible for normal business operations of the post, including overall management of personnel, budget, and fiscal matters; real and expendable property; motor pools; and acquisitions.
Information management officers are responsible for the post's unclassified information systems, database management, programming, and operational needs. They also are responsible for the telecommunications, telephone, radio, diplomatic pouches, and records management programs within the diplomatic mission and maintain close contact with the host government's communications authorities on operational matters.
Regional security officers are responsible for providing physical, procedural, and personnel security services to U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel; they also provide local in-country security briefings and threat assessments to business executives.
Public Affairs. Public affairs officers, information officers, and/or cultural affairs officers of U.S. missions overseas serve as press spokespersons and as administrators of such official U.S. exchange programs as those for Fulbright scholars, Humphrey and Muskie fellows, and foreign participants in International Visitor consultations in the United States. They also direct the overseas U.S. Speakers program and international electronic linkages such as the Worldnet TV satellite teleconferencing network at more than 200 posts.
Legal and Immigration Matters. Legal attaches serve as Department of Justice representatives on criminal matters.
Immigration and Naturalization Service officers are responsible for administering the laws regulating the admission of foreign-born persons (aliens) to the United States and for administering various immigration benefits.
USAID mission directors are responsible for USAID Programs including dollar and local currency loans, grants, and technical assistance. USAID also provides humanitarian assistance abroad during times of natural or man-made disasters. Helping other countries develop through foreign assistance programs helps American business. As other countries develop, they begin to import goods from abroadand now account for one-third of all U.S. exports and more than one-half of America's farm exports.
Current permanent U.S. Missions to international organizations include:
(As of Dec. 2002)
Published by permission of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA)