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This Electronic Research Collection archive provides access to older State Department documents as a research collection of scholarly interest. For more current information, see the main State Department web site at

Domestic and Overseas Security Resources and Publications

It is no wonder that most U.S. business people consider business travel hard work and one of the most stressful aspects of their job. The running, waiting, and anxiety associated with travel can take its toll on the mind and body. Add an unfamiliar location, a foreign language, and a different culture to the situation and you have the potential for all sorts of problems.

As pointed out in this publication, the keys to safe travel are planning and sound security practices. Proper planning ensures your logistical plan is in place and you have the necessary background information to support your itinerary. Incorporating sound security practices into your travel routine will reduce the likelihood of problems. Together, these keys allow you to get on with the real purpose of your trip.


Government Resources in the U.S.

Citizens Emergency Center Bureau of Consular Affairs U.S. Department of State

Focal point of liaison between concerned families, friends and U.S. Consular posts and citizens overseas; may render assistance in the areas of passports, visas, inoculations; maintains and issues travel warnings.

Phone: (202) 647-5225 (24 hours)

Operations Center U.S. Department of State

Primary point of contact between U.S. citizens residing in the United States and American Embassies and Consulates overseas.

Phone: (202) 647-1512 (24 hours)

Task Forces U.S. Department of State

Ad hoc groups formed to deal with civil disturbances, coups, natural disasters, etc., which occur overseas.

Phone: Contact Department of State Operations Center

International Trade Administration U.S. Department of Commerce

Primary U.S. Government liaison with U.S. firms exporting overseas.

Phone: (800) USA-TRADE or (800) 872-8723 (8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. EST)

Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), U.S. Department of State

Departmental point of contact for interface between the U.S. Government and the private sector.

Phone: (202) 663-0533 (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST)

Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis (ITA) Bureau of Diplomatic Security U.S. Department of State

Provides overseas security information and assessments via the OSAC Electronic Bulletin Board (EBB).

Phone: (202) 663-0787 (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST)

Overseas Resources

U.S. Embassy/Consulate Personnel

The Chief of Mission (with the title of Ambassador, Minister, or Charge d'Affaires) and the Deputy Chief of Mission head each U.S. diplomatic mission overseas. These officers are responsible for all components of the U.S. Mission within a country, including consular posts.

Commercial Officers, at larger posts, represent U.S. commercial interests within their country of assignment. They specialize in U.S. export promotion and will provide assistance to American business in furtherance of that effort. Economic/Commercial Officers fulfill these functions at smaller posts.

Consular Officers extend the protection of the U.S. Government to U.S. citizens and their property abroad. They maintain lists of local attorneys, act as liaison with police and other officials, and have the authority to notarize documents. Business representatives residing overseas should register with the Consular Officer. In troubled areas, all travelers are advised to register.

Regional Security Officers are responsible for providing physical, procedural, and personal security services to U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel. Their responsibilities extend to providing in-country security briefings and threat assessments to business executives.


The Department of State publication Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts: Guide for Business Representatives contains essential information pertaining to telephone numbers, FAX numbers, addresses, and assigned personnel for all U.S. diplomatic posts abroad. It is available for a small price from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402 (Telephone: 202-783-3228).

Under the aegis of the State Department, current OSAC publications include the following:

Security Guidelines for American Families Living Abroad

Security Guidelines for American Enterprises Abroad

Emergency Planning Guidelines for American Businesses Abroad

Security Awareness Overseas An Overview

Guidelines for Protecting U.S. Business Information Overseas

Personal Security Guidelines for the American Business Traveler Overseas

These are available, as supplies last, through the Overseas Security Advisory Council, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, U.S. Department of State. Additional copies of some OSAC publications are also available at the U.S. Government Printing Office.

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Last Updated: March 2, 1996