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95/05/26 Fact Sheet: US Dept. of State: Structure and Organization 

                               Fact Sheet
                    The U.S. Department of State:
                     Structure and Organization

The United States maintains diplomatic relations with some 180 countries 
and also maintains relations with many international organizations.  It 
has more than 250 diplomatic and consular posts around the world:  
country mission components--which may include embassies, consulates, or 
other posts; and delegations and missions to international 
The Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency.  It 
advances U.S. objectives and interests in shaping a freer, more secure, 
and more prosperous world through formulating, representing, and 
implementing the President's foreign policies.  The Secretary of State, 
the ranking member of the Cabinet and fourth in line of presidential 
succession, is the President's principal adviser on foreign policy and 
the person chiefly responsible for U.S. representation abroad.  Several 
related foreign affairs agencies--the Arms Control and Disarmament 
Agency (ACDA), the Agency for International Development (USAID), and the 
U.S. Information Agency (USIA)--are under the general direction and 
overall foreign policy guidance of the Secretary of State. 
The Department of State carries out its mission through overseas posts; 
its Washington, DC, headquarters; and other offices in the U.S.  Its 
employees in the U.S. and abroad include political appointees as well as 
career Civil Service and Foreign Service personnel. 
In addition to representing U.S. policy and interests at these posts, 
the Department of State is the primary provider of foreign affairs 
information used by the U.S. Government in policy formulation.  
Information received from U.S. posts--including in-depth analyses of the 
politics, economic trends, and social forces at work in foreign 
countries--is provided to some 60 federal agencies dealing with national 
security, intelligence, economic and commercial matters, or science and 

            Overview of the State Department's Organization 
Mandate for Change 
Under Vice President Gore's National Performance Review (NPR) 
initiative, the State Department in October 1994 began to redefine which 
roles it needs to fulfill and which structures are required to support 
those roles.  In response to the Vice President's effort to redefine 
what the U.S. Government does and who in government does it, the 
Department undertook its  Strategic Management Initiative (SMI). 
SMI reinforces the direction of steps taken beginning in 1993 to 
reorganize the Department to respond to post-Cold War foreign policy 
challenges.  These changes included creating a fifth Under Secretary 
position to coordinate global affairs issues and forming several new 
bureaus through consolidation and realignment.  Overall, the 
reorganization served to: 
--  Emphasize the Department's full engagement in promoting U.S. 
interests abroad, reinforced by Secretary Christopher's concept that it 
is "America's desk;"   
--  Position the Department to act effectively on key regional 
developments and other critical foreign affairs issues; 
--  Adapt the Department to the increasing globalization of many foreign 
policy matters; and 
--  Reflect the growing importance of developing options for 
multilateral approaches in the conduct of foreign relations. 
The SMI process continues the Department's review of how to streamline 
its organization around its core mission, which is to: 
--  Ensure national security by building and maintaining alliances and 
defusing and preventing crises; 
--  Advance the economic interests of the American people by promoting 
free trade and assisting American businesses; 
--  Promote democratic values and respect for human rights; and 
--  Provide protection and services to Americans abroad and control 
access to the United States. 
SMI's second phase builds on the Vice President's January 1995 decisions 
that emphasized the unique and independent role of each of the foreign 
affairs agencies under the overall leadership of the Department of 
State.  SMI aims to achieve the goals of NPR and enhance the 
Department's ability to promote America's interest and maintain 
America's leadership in the world.  This initiative builds on the core 
strengths of the State Department:  the geographic, economic, and 
political expertise of its employees; its management of embassies 
abroad; and its skills at reporting and policy formulation and 
Key decisions made by the Secretary of State in SMI's second phase 
--  Continuing consolidation of the Department's overseas presence by 
closing 20-25 posts in addition to the 17 already closed; 
--  Streamlining the policy formulation and implementation process 
through making greater use of special teams of officers to handle high-
priority issues; 
--  Increasing interagency coordination; 
--  Eliminating unnecessary reports and modernizing information 
--  Enhancing customer service; and 
--  Exploring the privatization of some functions. 
Current Structure 
The Department of State is headed by the Secretary (S) aided by a Deputy 
Secretary (D), five Under Secretaries, and 19 Assistant Secretaries.  
The Chief of Staff (S/COS) and Executive Secretariat (S/S) closely 
support the Secretary and Deputy Secretary.  There are several 
specialized offices and bureaus--headed by top aides and key advisers to 
the Secretary--which help the Department focus on certain critical 
foreign policy areas and on important management issues.  
The Department's Under Secretaries act as the "corporate board" of key 
advisers to the Secretary.  They oversee the activities of most of the 
Department's bureaus and offices--which are organized under them to 
support their policy planning, coordination, and implementation 
activities.  The Under Secretaries are those for Political Affairs (P); 
Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs (E); Arms Control and 
International Security Affairs (T); Management (M); and Global Affairs 
An Assistant Secretary or the equivalent runs each of the Department's 
regional, functional, and management bureaus; most bureaus comprise 
several offices headed by directors. 
As part of SMI's second phase, more decision-making power at the level 
of Assistant Secretaries and below will enhance Under Secretaries' focus 
on broad policy oversight of key issues and their role as the 
Secretary's guarantors of policy coherence.  Under Secretaries may also, 
as a result of SMI Phase Two, head special cross-cutting teams which 
handle high-priority issues. 

               Units Attached to the Office of the Secretary 
The following units are attached to the Office of the Secretary. 
The Operations Center--or "the Watch"--(S/S-O) is part of the Executive 
Secretariat.  It is open around the clock to alert and brief Department 
officials on overseas news and events and to coordinate the Department's 
response to emergency situations.  The Watch also provides selected 
communications support to Department officials. 
The Policy Planning Staff (S/P) is responsible for developing and 
proposing to the Secretary of State strategic political and economic 
The Office of Resources, Plans, and Policy (S/RPP) is responsible for 
coordinating policy formulation with resource planning activities.  The 
office develops for the Secretary's decision recommendations on 
international affairs resource issues, allocates funds in accordance 
with the Secretary's decisions, and conducts periodic program reviews. 
The Office of the Chief of Protocol (S/CPR) advises the President, Vice 
President, Secretary of State, and others on matters of national and 
international protocol; supports ceremonial events and functions in the 
U.S. and abroad; manages Blair House--the President's guest house; and 
is responsible for accreditation activities. 
Also attached to the Office of the Secretary are a number of offices 
headed by ambassadors-at-large, special advisers, and senior 
coordinators for such foreign policy areas and issues as the Middle East 
Peace Process, Russia and the other New Independent States of the former 
Soviet Union, Haiti, North Korea, and counter-terrorism.  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. 
             Units Outside the Office of the Secretary 
The following offices and bureaus, while not attached to the Office of 
the Secretary, report directly to the Secretary.  As part of the 
Department's streamlining efforts, certain administrative functions for 
some of these units have been consolidated. 
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 Public Affairs' (PA) interaction with the American public 
is key to the Secretary's America's Desk concept--the Department's 
commitment to relating foreign policy goals to the American people and 
keeping the public involved in the foreign policy process. 
The bureau does this in a variety of ways: 
--  Conducting daily press briefings and arranging interviews for the 
Secretary and other Department principals with television, radio, and 
print media; 
--  Drafting speeches and testimonies for the Secretary of State; 
--  Releasing material on current and historical U.S. foreign policy in 
hard copy and electronically; 
--  Promoting Department relations with state and local elected 
--  Holding briefing programs in the Department and throughout the 
Washington metropolitan area; 
--  Conducting regional town meetings; 
--  Sending speakers around the country; and 
--  Answering the public's phone calls and mail to the Secretary and 
Deputy Secretary. 
The Bureau of Legislative Affairs (H) serves as the 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 coordinates issues 
involving intelligence, security, and counterintelligence.  INR's 
primary mission is to harness intelligence to serve U.S. diplomacy. 
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is an independent office that 
audits, inspects, and investigates the activities of all elements of the 
Department.  The Inspector General reports directly to the Secretary and 
the Congress on the results of this work and makes recommendations to 
promote economy and efficiency and to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in 
Department programs and operations. 
The Office of the Legal Adviser (L) counsels the Secretary and 
Department on legal considerations regarding foreign policy issues and 
              Under Secretaries and Their Group Components 
Most of the Department's bureaus and offices are organized in groups to 
support policy planning, coordination, and execution by the five Under 
Secretaries.  As part of the Department's streamlining efforts, certain 
administrative functions have been consolidated in some groups. 
Under Secretary for Political Affairs (P) Group 
The Under Secretary for Political Affairs is the Department's crisis 
manager and also is responsible for integrating political, economic, 
global, and security issues into the United States' bilateral 
The geographic bureaus coordinate the conduct of U.S. foreign relations 
in six world regions.  They are: 
--The Bureau of African Affairs (AF); 
--The Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP); 
--The Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs (EUR); 
--The Bureau of Inter-American Affairs (for Latin America and the 
--The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA); and 
--The Bureau of South Asian Affairs (SA). 
The Assistant Secretaries of these bureaus advise the Secretary and 
guide the operation of the U.S. diplomatic establishments within their 
regional jurisdiction.  They are assisted by Deputy Assistant 
Secretaries, office directors, post management officers, and country 
desk officers to ensure interdepartmental coordination.  These officials 
work closely with U.S. embassies and consulates overseas and with 
foreign embassies in Washington, DC.   
The Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) builds the 
coalitions necessary to advance U.S. policies in the United Nations and 
UN specialized and technical agencies.  Its concerns include such issues 
as refugees, human rights, food production, air safety, health, 
terrorism, and the environment.  A focus for IO is the UN Security 
Council and the maintenance of international peace and security.  As 
part of its mandate, the bureau has an office for managing U.S. 
participation in multilateral peace-keeping activities.  The bureau 
works closely with the U.S. Mission to the UN in New York, and its 
Washington, DC, office to shape U.S. policy at the UN and to make it a 
more effective instrument for advancing U.S. interests. 
Under Secretary for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs (E) 
Economics and trade are assuming greater importance in U.S. foreign 
policy.  There is increasing demand for the "E" Group's services as more 
and more countries--including emerging democracies--move to open their 
markets to international trade and investment.  An Office of the 
Coordinator for Business Affairs (E/CBA) has been established  as part 
of the Department's emphasis on being America's Desk.  This office is 
located in the Office of the Under Secretary and it: 
--  Coordinates State Department advocacy on behalf of U.S. businesses; 
--  Provides problem-solving assistance to U.S. companies in opening 
markets, leveling playing fields, and resolving trade and investment 
--  Ensures that appropriate U.S. business interests are taken into 
account in the foreign policy process; 
--  Develops and implements internal policies, procedures, and training 
to improve the Department's support for U.S. businesses; and 
--  Coordinates support with the Commerce Department's U.S. and Foreign 
Commercial Service for posts where the State Department is directly 
responsible for trade promotion and commercial services. 
The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) deals with issues of 
trade, international finance and development, energy, commodities, 
transportation, economic sanctions, and telecommunications policy.  It 
also promotes U.S. business opportunities overseas. 
Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs (T) 
The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM) advises the Secretary and 
other Department principals on security and defense issues worldwide, 
including arms control negotiations; non-proliferation of weapons of 
mass destruction and the means to deliver them; regional security 
arrangements; programs for selected foreign security assistance; 
conventional arms sales; peaceful uses of nuclear energy and nuclear 
reactor safety; dual use and technology transfers; and international 
space issues involving military systems and controlled technologies.  
The bureau also is responsible for licensing and regulating commercial 
exports of military equipment and services.  
Under Secretary for Management (M) Group 
In addition to overseeing the State Department's traditional management 
issues, the Under Secretary for Management is responsible for the 
Department's recent management improvement initiatives, including the 
SMI process.  The Office of Management Policy and Planning (M/P), 
reporting directly to the Under Secretary, serves as the focal point for 
these initiatives.  It provides dedicated policy, planning, and 
analytical support to the Under Secretary on management issues in the 
three broad areas of M responsibility--human resources, financial 
management and operations, and support services--and supports 
Department-wide strategic planning activities as well as the 
implementation of initiatives arising from the National Performance 
Review.  It also performs the functions associated with National 
Security Decision Directive 38 and chiefs of mission authority, 
implements the Government Performance and Results Act, and provides 
other staff support for the Under Secretary. 
The Office of Foreign Missions (M/OFM) is responsible for oversight of 
foreign missions in the United States.  It employs reciprocity to ensure 
equitable treatment for U.S. diplomatic and consular missions abroad and 
regulates selected activities of foreign missions in the United States 
to protect foreign policy and national security interests and to protect 
the public from abuses of diplomatic privileges and immunities by 
foreign mission members.  It has regional offices in Chicago, San 
Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. 
The Foreign Service Institute (M/FSI) is the federal government's 
primary foreign affairs training institution.  In addition to Department 
of State and foreign affairs community personnel, the Institute provides 
professional and job-related training to the employees of more than 40 
other government agencies in more than 300 courses, including some 60 
foreign languages, at its National Foreign Affairs Training Center. 
The Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Personnel 
(M/DGP) oversees the medical services office; the family liaison office; 
and the Bureau of Personnel (PER), which determines employment 
requirements and administers recruitment, evaluation, assignment, career 
development, and retirement policies and programs for the Department's 
The Bureau of Administration (A) provides administrative support for the 
Department and overseas posts.  Its responsibilities include both 
domestic and foreign building operations; acquisition management; supply 
and transportation; travel support for the White House; overseas schools 
assistance; establishing allowance rates; and providing translation, 
safety, and occupational health services. 
Other services include maintaining the Department's library, overseeing 
the printing of Department publications, and responding to requests 
under privacy acts and the Freedom of Information Act.  The bureau also 
provides domestic and worldwide information services for the Department, 
which includes managing a secure global communications network and 
maintaining the Department's central automated data processing system. 
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 13 passport agencies and one 
processing center--in the United States--and the U.S. posts overseas 
issue about 4 million passports each year.  Annually, the Office of 
Overseas Citizens Services in the State Department monitors the cases of 
an estimated 2,500 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, and deals with crises--such as hostage-taking and natural 
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 establishing and maintaining 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 provide 
protection for the Secretary of State and many visiting foreign 
dignitaries . 
The bureau helps foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S. protect 
their diplomats and facilities, 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. 
The Bureau of Finance and Management Policy (FMP) oversees the 
Department's worldwide financial and asset management activities.  This 
includes establishing, maintaining, and enhancing management control 
policies, standards, and compliance guidelines as well as developing and 
operating an integrated system for accounting and financial management.  
The bureau develops annual budget requests to the Office of Management 
and Budget and 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. 
In addition to administering the Department's financial accounting and 
disbursement program, the bureau performs payroll services--such as 
foreign currency management and accounting, payroll, and fiscal records 
monitoring--and 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 and 
submits an annual report to the Congress extensively reviewing human 
rights practices in each country. 
The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) 
works with foreign governments to increase awareness of the importance 
of global narcotics control.  It coordinates efforts with other 
governments and international organizations to halt the flow of illegal 
drugs into the United States by providing assistance to foreign 
governments to:  eradicate narcotics crops, destroy illicit 
laboratories, train interdiction personnel, and develop education 
programs to counter drug abuse by their populations. 
The bureau also has an international criminal justice office, dedicated 
to development and coordination of U.S. policy on:  combating 
international organized crime's involvement in financial crime and 
illicit drug trafficking, strengthening judicial institutions and 
assisting foreign law enforcement agencies, and coordination with the 
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 and the environment, 
science, and technology officers at embassies overseas deal 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) is responsible 
for coordinating the Department's policy on global population, refugees, 
and migration issues and for managing Migration and Refugee Assistance 
appropriations.  As part of its work, 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. 
                The Conduct of U.S. Foreign Relations 
Executive Branch 
The conduct of U.S. foreign relations is centered in the executive 
branch and flows from the constitutional responsibilities of the 
President.  The President has the authority to conclude treaties and 
appoint diplomatic and consular officials--with the advice and consent 
of the Senate; to receive foreign emissaries; and to exercise other 
authority provided by legislation. 
To assist the President in these duties, Congress created the Department 
of State in 1789; this replaced the Department of Foreign Affairs, 
established in 1781.  As head of the Department, the Secretary of State 
was made the President's principal adviser on foreign affairs and the 
person chiefly responsible for U.S. representation abroad. 
After World War II, U.S. global responsibilities expanded greatly.  The 
Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and the Treasury acquired new 
duties in world economic affairs.  The Department of Defense was created 
in 1947--consolidating the functions previously carried out by the War 
Department and the individual services--and assumed duties for military 
aid and cooperation. 
The 1947 National Security Act created the National Security Council 
(NSC), which assists the President on foreign policy and coordinates the 
work of the many agencies involved in foreign relations.  Chaired by the 
President, the NSC includes the Vice President and the Secretaries of 
State and Defense as regular members.  Presidents have shaped NSC 
functions and made use of the position of Special Assistant to the 
President for National Security Affairs, established in 1951, to suit 
their administrative preferences. 
During the Cold War, new foreign affairs agencies were placed under the 
general direction of the Secretary of State:  the United States 
Information Agency (1953), the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency 
(1961), and the Agency for International Development (1961).  They 
remain under the Secretary's overall foreign policy guidance. 
Congress, too, has constitutional responsibilities for U.S. foreign 
policy.  As noted, the Senate must provide its advice and consent to 
treaties and to diplomatic and consular appointments.  Other major 
congressional powers include providing for the common defense and 
general welfare of the United States, regulating international commerce, 
and declaring war. 
Congressional influence on U.S. foreign policy rests in part on 
legislative control over the federal budget.  Congress: 
--  Appropriates the money needed to run the agencies which handle 
foreign affairs; 
--  Provides funds to finance U.S. foreign assistance programs carried 
out by executive agencies; and 
--  Legislates in such areas as immigration, foreign trade, and 
international monetary arrangements. 
Congressional committees most directly involved in the conduct of 
foreign relations include the House International Relations and Senate 
Foreign Relations Committees; the House National Security and Senate 
Armed Services Committees; the Appropriations Committees of both Houses; 
and relevant subcommittees.  The Secretary of State and other 
Administration officials consult with, testify before, and brief these 
bodies on foreign policy developments.  Members of Congress make trips 
abroad to inspect U.S. programs and also may serve as delegates to the 
United Nations and international conferences and commissions.
                             U.S. Missions 
To support its relations with other countries and international 
organizations, the United States maintains diplomatic and consular posts 
around the world.  Under the President's direction, the Secretary of 
State is responsible for the overall coordination and supervision of 
U.S. Government activities abroad.  Country missions and missions to 
international organizations are headed by Chiefs of Mission.  Chiefs of 
Mission are considered the President's personal representatives and, 
with the Secretary of State, assist in implementing the President's 
constitutional responsibilities for the conduct of U.S. foreign 
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); the U.S. Agency for International 
Development; and the U.S. Information Agency.  Other U.S. Government 
agencies also make vital contributions to the success of U.S. foreign 
relations and in promoting U.S. interests. 
Country Missions 
In most countries with which it has diplomatic relations, the U.S. 
maintains an embassy, which usually is located in the host country 
capital.  The U.S. also may have consulates in other large commercial 
centers or in dependencies of the country.  Several countries have U.S. 
ambassadors accredited to them who are not resident in the country.  In 
a few special cases--such as when it does not have full diplomatic 
relations with a country--the U.S. may be represented by only a U.S. 
Liaison Office or U.S. Interests Section, which may be headed by a 
Principal Officer rather than a Chief of Mission. 
The Chief of Mission--with the title of Ambassador, Minister, or Charge 
d'Affaires--and the Deputy Chief of Mission are responsible for and head 
the mission's "country team" of U.S. Government personnel.   
Consular Affairs.  Whether in a U.S. embassy or a consulate, consular 
officers at post are the State Department employees that American 
citizens overseas are most likely to meet.  Consular officers extend to 
U.S. citizens and their property abroad the protection of the U.S. 
Government.  They are involved in protecting and assisting millions of 
Americans living and traveling abroad. 
Consular officers help transfer personal funds to those in financial 
difficulty, search for missing Americans, issue Consular Information 
Sheets and Travel Warnings, visit Americans in prison, maintain lists of 
local attorneys, act as liaison with police and other officials, assist 
hospitalized Americans, re-issue lost or stolen passports, and assist 
next of kin in the United States when relatives die abroad. 
They also perform non-emergency services--dispensing information on 
absentee voting, international parental kidnaping and child custody, 
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 visas annually to foreign nationals 
who wish to visit the United States and almost 500,000 immigrant visas 
to those who wish to reside here permanently. 
Commercial, Economic, and Financial Affairs.  Commercial officers advise 
U.S. businesses on local trade and tariff laws, government procurement 
procedures, and business practices; identify potential importers, 
agents, distributors, and joint venture partners; and assist with 
resolution of trade and investment disputes.  At larger posts, trade 
specialists of the Commerce Department's U.S. and Foreign Commercial 
Service perform these functions.  At smaller posts, commercial interests 
are represented by economic/commercial officers from the Department of 
State.  Commerce Department officers for tourism promote the U.S. travel 
and tourism industry. 
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 
resources--including minerals, oil, and gas and energy--and 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 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 expedite U.S. exports 
affected by technical sanitary and phytosanitary regulations. 
Environment, science, and technology (EST) officers analyze and report 
on EST developments and their potential impact on U.S. policies and 
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 and function as the primary in-
country point of contact for U.S. defense industry and 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.  U.S. Information Service (USIS) officers of the U.S. 
Information Agency serve as the public affairs officers, information 
officers, and cultural affairs officers of U.S. missions overseas.  They 
are the public affairs advisers for the U.S. ambassador and all elements 
of the country team, serving 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.  USIS officers 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 and USAID Programs.  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 
USAID mission directors are responsible for USAID programs, including 
dollar and local currency loans, grants, and technical development 

            Chiefs of Mission--Authorities And Responsibilities 
Authorities and responsibilities of Chiefs of Mission at post include: 
--  Following, articulating, and speaking with one voice to others on  
U.S. policy--and ensuring mission staff do likewise--while also 
providing to the President and Secretary of State expert guidance and 
frank counsel and seeking the same from mission staff; 
--  Directing, coordinating, and supervising all executive branch 
offices and personnel, except for personnel under the command of a U.S. 
area military commander, under another chief of mission, or on the staff 
of an international organization; 
--  Cooperating with U.S. legislative and judicial branch personnel so 
that U.S. foreign policy goals are advanced, security is maintained, and 
executive, legislative, and judicial responsibilities are carried out;  
--  Reviewing all communications to or from mission elements, however 
transmitted, except those specifically exempted by law or executive 
--  Taking direct responsibility for the security of the mission--
including security from terrorism--and protecting all U.S. Government 
personnel on official duty (other than those personnel under the command 
of a U.S. area military commander) and their accompanying dependents; 
--  Viewing budgetary stringency as an incentive to innovate and to 
exercise careful stewardship of mission resources, including carrying 
out regular reviews of programs, personnel, and funding levels and 
cooperating with other departments and agencies in downsizing efforts; 
--  Using given Chief-of-Mission authorities to reshape the mission in 
ways that directly serve American interests and values and ensuring that 
all executive branch agencies attached to the mission do likewise by 
obtaining Chief-of-Mission approval to change the size, composition, or 
mandate of their staffs within the mission; 
--  Serving the people of the U.S. with professional excellence, the 
highest standards of ethical conduct, and diplomatic discretion and 
ensuring that mission staff adhere to the same strict standards and 
maintain a shared commitment to equal opportunity and against 
discrimination and harassment. 
U.S. Representation at International Organizations 
U.S. representation at international organizations reflects the growing 
importance of seeking multilateral approaches in the conduct of U.S. 
foreign relations.  In addition to its country missions, the U.S. has 
several delegations to international organizations, most of which are 
located outside the United States.  Some of these delegations are 
designated as "U.S. missions"; others are called delegations, such as 
those to the Conference on Disarmament or to the Organization for 
Security and Cooperation in Europe. 
U.S. missions to international organizations are: 
--  U.S. Mission to the United Nations (New York); 
--  U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States (Washington); 
--  U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna (Vienna); 
--  U.S. Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Brussels); 
--  U.S. Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and 
Development (Paris); 
--  U.S. Mission to the European Office of the UN and Other 
International Organizations (Geneva); 
--  U.S. Mission to the European Union (Brussels); 
--  U.S. Mission to the International Civil Aviation Organization 
--  U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture 
(Rome); and 
--  U.S. Observer Mission to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, 
and Cultural Organization (Paris).  
                President's Letter to Chiefs of Mission 
Excerpts from the text of President Clinton's Letter of Instruction to 
Chiefs of Mission, September 16, 1994. 
. . . . We are at a moment of unique historic opportunity for the United 
States and the world.  With the end of the Cold War, we are entering an 
era so new that it has yet to acquire a name.  Our task as a Nation, and 
yours as Chief of the United States Mission, is to ensure that this new 
era is one conducive to American prosperity, to American security, and 
to the values America seeks to exemplify.  To accomplish this task I 
need your full support for the three goals of my foreign policy that aim 
to keep our Nation strong at home and abroad:  renewing and adapting 
America's security alliances and structures; rebuilding and revitalizing 
the American economy; and promoting democracy, human rights, and 
sustainable development. 
You should give special attention in the security realm to halting arms 
proliferation, preventing, resolving, and containing conflict, and to 
countering terrorism and international crime; and in the economic arena, 
to opening and expanding markets for America's exports.  No country can 
be exempt from upholding the basic principles in the Universal 
Declaration of Human Rights; all should understand that shared 
democratic values are the most reliable foundation for good relations 
with the United States.  Finally, I will need your help as my 
Administration seeks to promote international cooperation to address 
global problems including the environment and population, narcotics 
production and trafficking, refugees, migration, and humanitarian 
Achieving these goals will demand a dynamic diplomacy that harnesses 
change in the service of our national interests and values.  It will 
require us to meet threats to our security and practice preventive 
diplomacy, to anticipate threats to our interests and to peace in the 
world before they become crises and drain our human and material 
resources in wasteful ways.  I have asked you to represent the United 
States . . .  because I am confident that you possess the skills, 
dedication, and experience necessary to meet the many challenges that 
this new and complex era presents. . . . 
I charge you to exercise your authority with wisdom, justice, and 
imagination.  Dramatic change abroad and austerity here at home have put 
a premium on leadership and teamwork. . . . 
Always keep in mind that . . . you and your Mission symbolize the United 
States of America and its values.  Never forget the solemn duty that we, 
as public servants, owe to the citizens of America:  the active 
protection and promotion of their well-being, safety, and ideals.  There 
is no better definition of American national interest and no loftier 
object for our efforts. 
                     Related Foreign Affairs Agencies 
As noted, there are several related foreign affairs agencies which, 
while independent, come under the general direction and overall foreign 
policy guidance of the Secretary of State.  All are headquartered in 
Washington, DC. 
The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency 
ACDA's mandate deals with arms control, non-proliferation, and 
disarmament policies, advancing the U.S. foreign policy objective of 
shaping a more secure world.  ACDA's director reports directly to the 
President, the National Security Adviser, and the Secretary of State on 
arms control and non-proliferation matters.  The agency's concerns 
include conventional, nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons as well 
as the means for delivering them.  It manages U.S. participation in 
negotiations on arms control, non-proliferation, and disarmament; 
engages in international negotiations on nuclear safety; evaluates U.S. 
ability to verify agreements, assesses compliance with existing 
agreements; monitors arms transfers worldwide; conducts research; and 
coordinates and disseminates information to the public. 
ACDA has led all of the U.S. delegations to what is now known as the 
Conference on Disarmament--the principal forum for negotiating 
multilateral arms control agreements such as a comprehensive test ban 
treaty and a fissile material cutoff.  Since ACDA's creation in 1961, 
some of the agreements negotiated in that forum include the Limited Test 
Ban Treaty, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Seabed Arms 
Control Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons 
Convention, the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, the Open 
Skies Treaty, and the Environmental Modification Convention.  In 
addition, ACDA led or actively participated in all major U.S.-Soviet 
arms negotiations beginning in 1961, such as the Threshold Test Ban 
Treaty, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Strategic Arms Limitation 
Talks, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, talks on defense and space 
issues, and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. 
The U.S. Agency for International Development 
USAID administers U.S. economic and humanitarian assistance designed to 
promote sustainable development in countries in Africa, Asia, the Near 
East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, and 
the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union. 
USAID works to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives of shaping a 
freer, more secure, and more prosperous world by focusing its programs 
in four interrelated areas:  improving health and population conditions, 
protecting the environment, promoting economic growth, and supporting 
democracy.  In addition to providing humanitarian assistance, USAID 
promotes democratic values and international cooperation and helps 
establish economic conditions that expand markets for U.S. goods and 
services in developing countries. 
USAID funds technical assistance and commodity assistance, trains 
thousands of foreign students each year at American colleges, and 
supports development research.  USAID also enlists the collaboration of 
the American for-profit private sector, non-governmental and private 
organizations, and universities in its programs. 
USAID assistance programs are administered through overseas missions 
that work in close coordination with U.S. embassies. 
The U.S. Information Agency 
USIA's mission is to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics 
in promotion of the national interest and to broaden the dialogue 
between Americans and U.S. institutions and their counterparts abroad. 
With the spread of democracy and popular politics and the revolution in 
communications and information worldwide, the organization and policy 
emphases of the agency have changed significantly, but the core purposes 
have remained constant: 
--  To explain and advocate U.S. policies in terms that are credible and 
meaningful in foreign cultures; 
--  To provide information about the United States and its people, 
values, and institutions; 
--  To build lasting relationships and understanding between Americans 
and U.S. institutions and their counterparts overseas through the 
exchange of people and ideas; and 
--  To advise the President and other policymakers on foreign attitudes 
and their implications for U.S. policies. 
USIA's programs include the Voice of America; Radio and TV Marti; 
Worldnet TV; the Fulbright scholarship program; the U.S. Speakers 
program; the International Visitors program; the Wireless File newswire, 
transmitted daily in five languages to USIS press officers overseas; 
Foreign Press Centers in Washington, New York, and Los Angeles; and an 
overseas network of professionally staffed, computer-linked information 
resource and cultural centers. 
USIA has U.S. and foreign national professionals in more than 200 U.S. 
embassies and consulates in more than 140 countries.  


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