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Secretary of State of the United States
""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
""Mike Pompeo official CIA portrait.jpg
"Mike Pompeo

since April 26, 2018
"Department of State
"Style Mr. Secretary
Member of "Cabinet, "National Security Council
Reports to The "President
"Seat "Washington, D.C.
Appointer The "President
with "Senate "advice and consent
"Term length Appointed
Constituting instrument "22 U.S.C. § 2651
Precursor "United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Formation July 27, 1789; 228 years ago (1789-07-27)
First holder "John Jay (acting)
"Thomas Jefferson
Succession "Fourth[1]
Deputy "Deputy Secretary of State
Salary $205,700 annually[2]  ("Executive Schedule I)[3]
Website www.state.gov

The Secretary of State is a senior official of the "federal government of the "United States of America, and as head of the "U.S. Department of State, is principally concerned with "foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government's equivalent of a "Minister for Foreign Affairs.[4][5]

The Secretary of State is nominated by the "President of the United States and, following a confirmation hearing before the "Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, is confirmed by the "United States Senate. The Secretary of State, along with the "Secretary of the Treasury, "Secretary of Defense, and "Attorney General, are generally regarded as the four most important "Cabinet members because of the importance of their respective departments.[6] Secretary of State is a "Level I position in the Executive Schedule and thus earns the salary prescribed for that level (currently $205,700).[3]

The current Secretary of State is "Mike Pompeo. On March 13, 2018, President "Donald Trump dismissed "Rex Tillerson and nominated Pompeo, then "Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to replace Tillerson.[7][8] Tillerson announced later that day that his last day at the State Department would be March 31, 2018.[9]


Duties and responsibilities[edit]

The stated duties of the Secretary of State are as follows:[10]

The original duties of the Secretary of State include some domestic duties such as:["citation needed]

Most of the domestic functions of the Department of State have been transferred to other agencies. Those that remain include storage and use of the Great Seal of the United States, performance of "protocol functions for the "White House, and the drafting of certain proclamations. The Secretary also negotiates with the individual States over the extradition of fugitives to foreign countries.[11] Under Federal Law,[12] the resignation of a President or of a Vice President is only valid if declared in writing, in an instrument delivered to the office of the Secretary of State. Accordingly, the resignations of "President Nixon and of Vice-President "Spiro Agnew, domestic issues, were formalized in instruments delivered to the Secretary of State, "Henry Kissinger.

As the highest-ranking member of the cabinet, the Secretary of State is the third-highest official of the executive branch of the Federal Government of the United States, after the President and Vice President and is fourth in "line to succeed the Presidency, coming after the "Vice President, the "Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the "President pro tempore of the Senate. Six Secretaries of State have gone on to be elected President. Others, including "Henry Clay, "William Seward, "James Blaine, "William Jennings Bryan, "John Kerry, and "Hillary Clinton have been unsuccessful presidential candidates, either before or after their term of office as Secretary of State.

The nature of the position means that Secretaries of State engage in travel around the world. The record for most countries visited in a secretary's tenure is 112 by "Hillary Clinton.[13] Second is "Madeleine Albright with 96.[14] The record for most air miles traveled in a secretary's tenure is 1.380 million miles by "John Kerry.[15] Second is "Condoleezza Rice's 1.059 million miles, and third is Clinton's 956,733 miles.[13]

What are the Qualifications of a Secretary of State? He ought to be a Man of universal Reading in Laws, Governments, History. Our whole terrestrial Universe ought to be summarily comprehended in his Mind.

—"John Adams[16]

List of Secretaries of State[edit]


  1. ^ "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". "Cornell Law School. 
  2. ^ "Pay & Leave: Salaries & Wages". Salary Table No. 2015-EX. "United States Office of Personnel Management. January 1, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "5 U.S.C. § 5312.
  4. ^ "Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers for Foreign Affairs", Protocol and Liaison Service, "United Nations. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  5. ^ NATO Member Countries, "NATO. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  6. ^ Cabinets and Counselors: The President and the Executive Branch (1997). "Congressional Quarterly. p. 87.
  7. ^ Haaretz (2018-03-13). "Meet Mike Pompeo, Trump's Reported New Hardliner Secretary of State". Haaretz. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  8. ^ "Rex Tillerson out as secretary of state; CIA Director Mike Pompeo will replace him". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  9. ^ "Trump fires Rex Tillerson as secretary of state". 2018-03-13. Retrieved 2018-03-13. 
  10. ^ "Duties of the Secretary of State". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved February 1, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Duties of the Secretary of State of the United States". www.state.gov. United States Department of State. January 20, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2010. 
  12. ^ "3 U.S. Code § 20 - Resignation or refusal of office". 
  13. ^ a b Mark Landler (January 4, 2013). "Scare Adds to Fears That Clinton's Work Has Taken Toll". "The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Lee, Matthew (June 28, 2012). "Frequent flier Hillary Clinton hits 100-country mark". "Detroit Free Press. "Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 28, 2012. 
  15. ^ Associated Press (April 6, 2016). "Kerry breaks record for miles traveled by secretary of state". "Fox News. 
  16. ^ "Ford, Worthington C., ed. (1927). Statesman and Friend: Correspondence of John Adams with Benjamin Waterhouse, 1784–1822. Boston, MA: "Little, Brown, and Company. p. 57. 

External links[edit]

"Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
"Ambassadors from the United States
(while at their posts)
"Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of State
Succeeded by
"Ambassadors to the United States
(in order of tenure)
Preceded by
Otherwise "Barack Obama
as Former President
Succeeded by
Otherwise "António Guterres
as "Secretary-General of the United Nations
"Current U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
"President pro tempore of the Senate
"Orrin Hatch
4th in line Succeeded by
"Secretary of the Treasury
"Steve Mnuchin
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