Return to: Index of "Key Officers of Foreign Services Posts" || Index of "Consular and Travel Information" ||
Electronic Research Collections Index ||
Note: The DOSFAN Electronic Research Collection (ERC) is an archive site. For the most current information, please visit the US State Department homepage.
U.S. Department of State
Spring/Summer 1995: Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts
Office of Information Services
[SECTION 1 OF 9]
KEY OFFICERS OF FOREIGN SERVICE POSTS
Guide for Business Representatives
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents via FAX with Visa and
U.S. Government Printing Office Washington, D.C. 20402
Tel. (202) 783-3238
FAX (202) 512-2168
Single copy price $3.75.
Annual subscription (two editions) $5.
TO SUBMIT KEY OFFICER CHANGES, SEND CABLE TO: PS/GE, ROOM 1845,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE 20520-1853
or FAX (202) 736-4269
FAX messages must be followed up with cables or memos.
Department of State Publication 7877
Revised Spring/Summer 1995
OFFICE OF INFORMATION SERVICES
Publishing Services Division
Doing Business Overseas--Your First Point of Contact
If you are planning a trip overseas or need information about doing
business overseas, your first point of contact should be the nearest
U.S. Department of Commerce District Office.
There are 44 District Offices and 24 Branch Offices in cities throughout
the United States and Puerto Rico staffed by trade specialists from the
United States and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS). These District
Offices provide information on foreign markets, agent/distributor
location services, trade leads, and counseling on business
All District Offices have access to the National Trade Data Bank, a
"one-stop" computerized source for current export promotion and country-
specific trade data collected by 17 U.S. Government agencies. U.S.
Export Assistance Centers, which combine the export promotion and trade
finance services of the Department of Commerce, the ExportImport Bank,
the Small Business Administration, and the Agency for International
Development, now are open in Miami, Chicago, Long Beach, and Baltimore.
It is strongly recommended that business representatives inform the
District Office of their plans to travel overseas. The District Office
will notify Commercial Sections in overseas posts of the upcoming visit
to ensure that they are adequately prepared to help.
The Key Officers Guide lists key officers at Foreign Service posts with
whom American business representatives would most likely have contact.
All embassies, missions, consulates general, and consulates are listed.
At the head of each U.S. diplomatic mission are the Chief of Mission
(with the title of Ambassador, Minister, or Charge d'Affaires) and the
Deputy Chief of Mission. These officers are responsible for all
components of the U.S. Mission within a country, including consular
A Chief of Mission Secretary is responsible for the scheduling of
appointments for that official. In addition to other duties, this
secretary may also assist business persons by directing inquiries to the
appropriate Mission office.
Commercial Officers advise U.S. business on local trade and tariff laws,
government procurement procedures, and business practices; identify
potential importers, agents, distributors, and joint venture partners;
provide information on local government tenders; and assist with
resolution of trade and investment disputes. At smaller posts,
commercial interests are represented by Economic/Commercial Officers
from the Department of State.
Commercial Officers for Tourism promote the U.S. travel and tourism
Economic Officers advise U.S. business on the local investment climate
and economic trends; negotiate trade and investment agreements to open
markets and level the playing field; and analyze and report on
macroeconomic trends and trade policies and their potential impact on
Resource Officers counsel U.S. business on issues related to 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.
Agricultural Officers promote the export of U.S. agricultural products
and report on agricultural production and market developments in their
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Officers are responsible for
animal and plant health issues as they impact U.S. trade and in
protecting U.S. agriculture from foreign pests and diseases. They
expedite U.S. exports in the area of technical sanitary and
phytosanitary (S&P) regulations.
Environment, Science and Technology (EST) Officers analyze and report on
EST developments and their potential impact on U.S. policies and
Financial Attaches analyze and report on major financial developments.
Consular Officers extend to U.S. citizens and their property abroad the
protection of the U.S. Government. They maintain lists of local
attorneys, act as liaison with police and other officials, and have the
authority to notarize documents. The Department recommends that business
representatives residing overseas register with the consular officer; in
troubled areas, even travelers are advised to register.
Immigration and Naturalization Service Officers are responsible for
enforcing the laws regulating the admission of foreign-born persons
(i.e., aliens) to the United States and for administering various
immigration benefits,including the naturalization of resident aliens.
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.
AID Mission Directors are responsible for AID programs, including dollar
and local currency loans, grants, and technical assistance.
Political Officers advise U.S. business executives onthe local political
climate and analyze and report on political developments and their
potential impact on U.S. interests.
Labor Officers follow the activities of labor organizations to supply
such information as wages, nonwage costs, social security regulations,
labor attitudes toward American investments, etc. Advise U.S. business
on local labor laws and practices and analyze and report on activities
of local labor organizations, labor laws and practices, and their
potential impact on U.S. interests.
Administrative Officers are responsible for normal business operations
of the post, including purchasing for the post and its commissary.
Security Assistance Officers are responsible for Defense Cooperation in
Armaments and foreign military sales to include functioning as primary
in-country point of contact for U.S. Defense Industry.
Information Systems Managers are responsible for the post's unclassified
information systems, database management, programming, and operational
needs. They provide liaison with appropriate commercial contacts in the
information field to enhance the post's systems integrity.
Communications Programs Officers are responsible for the
telecommunications, telephone, radio, diplomatic pouches, and records
management programs within the diplomatic mission. They maintain close
contact with the host government's information/communications
authorities on operational matters.
Public Affairs Officers are the press and cultural affairs specialists
and maintain close contact with the local press.
Legal Attaches serve as representatives to the U.S. Department of
Justice on criminal matters.
U.S. Department of State and Commerce Country Desk Officers Both the
Departments of State and Commerce have country desk officers based in
Washington, D.C. who have comprehensive, up-to-date information on
particular countries and can advise U.S. companies of the political and
International Economic Policy (IEP) country desk officers in the
Department of Commerce collect information on individual country
regulations, tariffs, business practices, economic and political
developments, trade data, and market size and growth, keeping a current
pulse on the potential markets for U.S. products, services, and
IEP has several regional business information centers that focus on new
opportunities for trade and investment in various parts of the world:
the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Japan, Latin America and the
Caribbean, and the European Community.
For a specific country desk officer or regional business center, call
Country desk officers at the Department of State maintain regular
contact with overseas diplomatic missions and can provide country-
specific economic and political analysis for U.S. companies.
For a specific State Department country desk officer, call (202) 647-
The Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, can also provide
current data on the security situation to interested persons planning
trips abroad. American business representatives desiring this
information should contact the Overseas Security Advisory Council at
(202) 663-0533. Department of State Coordinator for Business Affairs
The Coordinator for Business Affairs coordinates the Department's
advocacy for U.S. companies overseas competing in international bids;
problem-solving assistance to U.S. companies; dialogue with the U.S.
private sector to ensure that business concerns are appropriately
factored into foreign policy; and programs and practices to improve the
Department's support for business. You should consider the Coordinator
for Business Affairs your principal point of contact for business
concerns within the Department of State. Tel. (202) 647-1942; FAX (202)
Trade Information Center
For general information about U.S. Government export promotion programs,
you should contact the Trade Information Center. It provides
information on Federal programs and activities that support U.S.
exports, information on overseas markets and industry trends, and a
computerized calendar of U.S. Government-sponsored domestic and overseas
trade events. The center's nationwide toll-free number is: 1-800-USA-
A special line is available for those who are deaf or hearing-impaired:
To the top of this page