United States Secretary of State

Head of the U.S. Department of State

The United States Secretary of State (commonly abbreviated as SecState) is the head of the United States Department of State. This department deals with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet. This person is the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence. The President chooses the person they want to be Secretary of the State. The United States Senate must agree with this choice for the person to become the Secretary of State.

United States Secretary of State
Seal of the United States Secretary of State.svg
Seal of the Secretary of State
Flag of the United States Secretary of State.svg
Flag of the Secretary of State
Secretary Blinken's Official Department Photo.jpg
Incumbent
Antony Blinken

since January 26, 2021
United States Department of State
StyleMr./Madam Secretary
(informal)
The Honorable[1]
(formal)
His/Her Excellency[2]
(diplomatic)
Member ofCabinet
National Security Council
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerPresident of the United States
with Senate advice and consent
Constituting instrument22 U.S.C. § 2651
PrecursorSecretary of Foreign Affairs
FormationJuly 27, 1789; 231 years ago (1789-07-27)
First holderThomas Jefferson
SuccessionFourth[3]
DeputyDeputy Secretary of State
SalaryExecutive Schedule, Level I[4]
Websitewww.state.gov

The position of Secretary of State was created in April 6, 1789. Thomas Jefferson was the first Secretary. The Presidential order of succession lists the Secretary of State as the 4th person in line if something happens to the President.

DutiesEdit

The first duties of the Secretary of State included:

The following are the responsibilities of the Secretary of State. These were added to the duties over time.

List of Secretaries of StateEdit

  Denotes acting Secretary of State
No. Secretary State of residence Senate confirmation vote Took office Left office President(s)
  John Jay

Acting

New York September 15, 1789 March 22, 1790 George Washington
(Unaffiliated)
1   Thomas Jefferson Virginia March 22, 1790 December 31, 1793
2   Edmund Randolph Virginia January 2, 1794 August 20, 1795
3   Timothy Pickering Pennsylvania[5] August 20, 1795 December 10, 1795[B]
December 10, 1795 March 4, 1797
March 4, 1797 May 12, 1800 John Adams
(Federalist)
  Charles Lee[C]
Acting
Virginia May 13, 1800 June 5, 1800
4   John Marshall Virginia June 13, 1800 March 4, 1801
  Levi Lincoln Sr.[C]
Acting
Massachusetts March 5, 1801 May 1, 1801 Thomas Jefferson
(Democratic-Republican)
5   James Madison Virginia May 2, 1801 March 3, 1809
6   Robert Smith Maryland March 6, 1809 April 1, 1811 James Madison
(Democratic-Republican)
7   James Monroe Virginia April 2, 1811 March 3, 1817
John Graham

Acting

Kentucky March 4, 1817 March 9, 1817 James Monroe
(Democratic-Republican)
  Richard Rush[C]
Acting
Pennsylvania March 10, 1817 September 22, 1817
8   John Quincy Adams Massachusetts September 22, 1817 March 3, 1825
Daniel Brent
Acting
Virginia March 4, 1825 March 7, 1825 John Quincy Adams
(Democratic-Republican)
9   Henry Clay Kentucky March 7, 1825 March 3, 1829
James Alexander Hamilton
Acting
New York March 4, 1829 March 27, 1829 Andrew Jackson
(Democratic)
10   Martin Van Buren New York March 28, 1829 May 23, 1831
11   Edward Livingston Louisiana May 24, 1831 May 29, 1833
12   Louis McLane Delaware May 29, 1833 June 30, 1834
13   John Forsyth Georgia July 1, 1834 March 4, 1837
March 4, 1837 March 3, 1841 Martin Van Buren
(Democratic)
Jacob L. Martin
Acting
District of Columbia March 4, 1841 March 5, 1841 William Harrison
(Whig)
14   Daniel Webster Massachusetts March 6, 1841 April 4, 1841
April 4, 1841 May 8, 1843 John Tyler
(Whig)
  Hugh S. Legaré
Acting
South Carolina May 9, 1843 June 20, 1843
William S. Derrick
Acting
Pennsylvania June 21, 1843 June 23, 1843
15   Abel P. Upshur Virginia June 24, 1843 July 23, 1843[D]
July 24, 1843 February 28, 1844
  John Nelson[C]
Acting
Maryland February 29, 1844 March 31, 1844
16   John C. Calhoun South Carolina April 1, 1844 March 10, 1845[E]
17   James Buchanan Pennsylvania March 10, 1845 March 7, 1849[E] James K. Polk[E]
(Democratic)
18   John M. Clayton Delaware March 8, 1849 July 9, 1850 Zachary Taylor
(Whig)
July 9, 1850 July 22, 1850 Millard Fillmore
(Whig)
19   Daniel Webster Massachusetts July 23, 1850 October 24, 1852
  Charles M. Conrad[B]
Acting
Louisiana October 25, 1852 November 5, 1852
20   Edward Everett Massachusetts November 6, 1852 March 3, 1853
  William Hunter[F]
Acting
Rhode Island March 4, 1853 March 7, 1853 Franklin Pierce
(Democratic)
21   William L. Marcy New York March 7, 1853 March 6, 1857[E]
22   Lewis Cass Michigan March 6, 1857 December 14, 1860 James Buchanan
(Democratic)
  William Hunter[F]
Acting
Rhode Island December 15, 1860 December 16, 1860
23   Jeremiah S. Black Pennsylvania December 17, 1860 March 5, 1861[E]
24   William H. Seward New York March 5, 1861 April 15, 1865 Abraham Lincoln
(Republican)
April 15, 1865 March 4, 1869 Andrew Johnson
(Democratic)
25   Elihu B. Washburne Illinois March 5, 1869 March 16, 1869 Ulysses S. Grant
(Republican)
26   Hamilton Fish New York March 17, 1869 March 4, 1877
March 4, 1877 March 12, 1877[E] Rutherford B. Hayes[E]
(Republican)
27   William M. Evarts New York March 12, 1877 March 7, 1881
28   James G. Blaine Maine March 7, 1881 September 19, 1881 James A. Garfield
(Republican)
September 19, 1881 December 19, 1881 Chester A. Arthur
(Republican)
29   Frederick T. Frelinghuysen New Jersey December 19, 1881 March 6, 1885[E]
30   Thomas F. Bayard Delaware March 7, 1885 March 6, 1889 Grover Cleveland[E]
(Democratic)
31   James G. Blaine Maine March 7, 1889 June 4, 1892 Benjamin Harrison
(Republican)
  William F. Wharton[G]
Acting
Massachusetts June 4, 1892 June 29, 1892
32   John W. Foster Indiana June 29, 1892 February 23, 1893
  William F. Wharton[G]
Acting
Massachusetts February 24, 1893 March 6, 1893
Grover Cleveland
(Democratic)
33   Walter Q. Gresham Illinois[6] March 7, 1893 May 28, 1895
  Edwin F. Uhl[G]
Acting
Michigan May 28, 1895 June 9, 1895
34   Richard Olney Massachusetts June 10, 1895 March 5, 1897[E]
35   John Sherman Ohio March 6, 1897 April 27, 1898 William McKinley
(Republican)
36   William R. Day Ohio April 28, 1898 September 16, 1898
  Alvey A. Adee[H]
Acting
New York September 17, 1898 September 29, 1898
37   John Hay District of Columbia September 30, 1898 September 14, 1901
September 14, 1901 July 1, 1905 Theodore Roosevelt
(Republican)
  Francis B. Loomis[G]
Acting
Ohio July 1, 1905 July 18, 1905
38   Elihu Root New York July 19, 1905 January 27, 1909
39   Robert Bacon New York January 27, 1909 March 5, 1909[E]
40   Philander C. Knox Pennsylvania March 6, 1909 March 5, 1913 William Howard Taft[E]
(Republican)
41   William Jennings Bryan Nebraska March 5, 1913 June 9, 1915 Woodrow Wilson
(Democratic)
42   Robert Lansing New York June 9, 1915 June 23, 1915
June 24, 1915 February 13, 1920
  Frank Polk[I]
Acting
New York February 14, 1920 March 12, 1920
43   Bainbridge Colby New York March 23, 1920 March 4, 1921
44   Charles Evans Hughes New York March 5, 1921 August 2, 1923 Warren G. Harding
(Republican)
August 2, 1923 March 4, 1925 Calvin Coolidge
(Republican)
45   Frank B. Kellogg Minnesota March 5, 1925 March 4, 1929
March 4, 1929 March 28, 1929 Herbert Hoover
(Republican)
46   Henry L. Stimson New York March 28, 1929 March 4, 1933
47   Cordell Hull Tennessee March 4, 1933 November 30, 1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt
(Democratic)
48   Edward Stettinius Jr. Virginia December 1, 1944 April 12, 1945
April 12, 1945 June 27, 1945 Harry S. Truman
(Democratic)
  Joseph Grew[I]
Acting
New Hampshire June 28, 1945 July 3, 1945
49   James F. Byrnes South Carolina July 3, 1945 January 21, 1947
50   George Marshall Pennsylvania January 21, 1947 January 20, 1949
51   Dean Acheson Maryland[7] January 21, 1949 January 20, 1953
  H. Freeman Matthews[I]
Acting
Maryland January 20, 1953 January 21, 1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower
(Republican)
52   John Foster Dulles New York January 21, 1953 April 22, 1959
53   Christian Herter Massachusetts April 22, 1959 January 20, 1961
  Livingston T. Merchant
Acting
District of Columbia January 20, 1961 January 21, 1961 John F. Kennedy
(Democratic)
54   Dean Rusk New York[8] January 21, 1961 November 22, 1963
November 22, 1963 January 20, 1969 Lyndon B. Johnson
(Democratic)
  Charles E. Bohlen
Acting
District of Columbia January 20, 1969 January 22, 1969 Richard Nixon
(Republican)
55   William P. Rogers Maryland January 22, 1969 September 3, 1973
  Kenneth Rush
Acting
Florida September 3, 1973 September 22, 1973
56   Henry Kissinger District of Columbia 78-7 September 22, 1973 August 9, 1974
August 9, 1974 January 20, 1977[9] Gerald Ford
(Republican)
  Philip Habib
Acting
California January 20, 1977 January 23, 1977 Jimmy Carter
(Democratic)
57   Cyrus Vance New York[10] Voice Vote January 23, 1977 April 28, 1980[11]
  Warren Christopher[K][12]
Acting
California April 28, 1980 May 2, 1980
  David D. Newsom[L][12]
Acting
May 2, 1980 May 3, 1980
May 3, 1980 May 3, 1980
  David D. Newsom[L][12]
Acting
May 3, 1980 May 4, 1980
  Warren Christopher[K][12]
Acting
California May 4, 1980 May 8, 1980
58   Edmund Muskie Maine 94-2 May 8, 1980 January 20, 1981[13]
59   Alexander Haig Connecticut 93-6 January 22, 1981 July 5, 1982[14] Ronald Reagan
(Republican)
  Walter J. Stoessel Jr.[K]
Acting
California July 5, 1982 July 16, 1982
60   George Shultz California 97-0 July 16, 1982 January 20, 1989[15]
  Michael Armacost[L]
Acting
Maryland January 20, 1989 January 25, 1989 George H. W. Bush
(Republican)
61   James Baker Texas 99-0 January 25, 1989 August 23, 1992[16]
62   Lawrence Eagleburger Florida[17] August 23, 1992 December 8, 1992[K][18]
Recess Appointment December 8, 1992 January 19, 1993[19]
Arnold Kanter[L][20]
Acting
Virginia January 20, 1993 Bill Clinton
(Democratic)
  Frank G. Wisner[N][20]
Acting
District of Columbia January 20, 1993
63   Warren Christopher California Voice Vote January 20, 1993 January 17, 1997[21]
64   Madeleine Albright District of Columbia 99-0 January 23, 1997 January 20, 2001[22]
65   Colin Powell Virginia Voice Vote January 20, 2001 January 26, 2005[23] George W. Bush
(Republican)
66   Condoleezza Rice California 85-13 January 26, 2005 January 20, 2009[24]
  William Joseph Burns[L]
Acting
District of Columbia January 20, 2009 January 21, 2009[25] Barack Obama
(Democratic)
67   Hillary Clinton New York 94-2 January 21, 2009 February 1, 2013[26]
68   John Kerry Massachusetts 94-3 February 1, 2013 January 20, 2017[27]
  Tom Shannon[L]
Acting
Minnesota January 20, 2017 February 1, 2017[28][29][30] Donald Trump
(Republican)
69   Rex Tillerson Texas 55-43 February 1, 2017 March 31, 2018
  John J. Sullivan[K]
Acting
Massachusetts April 1, 2018 April 26, 2018
70   Mike Pompeo Kansas 57-42 April 26, 2018 January 20, 2021
  Daniel Bennett Smith

Acting

Virginia January 20, 2021 January 26, 2021 Joe Biden
(Democratic)
71   Antony Blinken New York 78-22 January 26, 2021

ReferencesEdit

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". Cornell Law School.
  4. 5 U.S.C. § 5312.
  5. Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Timothy Pickering
  6. Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Walter Quintin Gresham
  7. Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Dean Gooderham Acheson
  8. Biographies of the Secretaries of State: David Dean Rusk
  9. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Henry A. (Heinz Alfred) Kissinger (1923–)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  10. Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Cyrus Roberts Vance
  11. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Cyrus Roberts Vance (1917–2002)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Allexperts.com – Secretary of State Archived 2012-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Edmund Sixtus Muskie (1914–1996)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  14. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Alexander Meigs Haig Jr. (1924–2010)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  15. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: George Pratt Shultz (1920–)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  16. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: James Addison Baker III (1930–)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  17. Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger
  18. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger (1930–2011)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian. Served as Acting Secretary of State, Aug 23 – Dec 8, 1992.
  19. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger (1930–2011)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  20. 20.0 20.1 and, Thomas L. Friedman. "Clinton Rounds Out State Dept. Team". nytimes.com. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  21. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Warren Minor Christopher (1925–2011)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  22. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Madeleine Korbel Albright (1937–)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  23. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Colin Luther Powell (1937–)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  24. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Condoleezza Rice (1954–)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  25. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Condoleezza Rice (1954–)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian. Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J. Burns served as Acting Secretary of State, January 20–21, 2009.
  26. "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Hillary Rodham Clinton (1947–)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  27. "John Forbes Kerry (1943–)". U.S. Department of State – Office of the Historian.
  28. Herman, Steve. "Career Diplomat Becomes Acting Secretary of State with Trump Inauguration". voanews.com. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  29. News, ABC. "ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  30. "Under Secretary of State Shannon meets Tillerson: U.S. official". 19 January 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2018 – via Reuters.