Department of State (DOS)

By Harley Hentges & Caleb Sebora

"The Department's mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere. This mission is shared with the USAID, ensuring we have a common path forward in partnership as we invest in the shared security and prosperity that will ultimately better prepare us for the challenges of tomorrow."
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  • Responsible for implementing foreign policy of the United States
  • Staffs embassies
  • Protects rights of U.S. citizens travelling to foreign countries
  • Analyzes issues related to American interests in other countries
  • Represents American positions to the United Nations through the ambassador to the UN (who is appointed by the president)
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The Department of State was created on July 21, 1787. It was created by George Washington when he realized that the job of handling foreign affairs was too large of a job for just the president. When this department was first created, it was called the Department of Foreign Affairs.
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John Kerry - Secretary of State

The Secretary of State is the head of the Department of State. The first ever head of the department was Thomas Jefferson, and the current Secretary of State is John Kerry. There are no legal qualifications in becoming the Secretary of State aside from being a U.S. citizen. A person, though, should have a good understanding in politics, law, and foreign affairs.

The U.S. Secretary of State's main job description is:

- Serve as the President's main adviser on U.S. foreign policy

- Conduct negotiations relating to U.S. foreign affairs

- Grants and issues passports to American citizens and exequaturs to foreign consuls in the United States

-Advises the President on the appointment of U.S. ambassadors, ministers, consuls, and other diplomatic representatives

- Advises the President regarding the acceptance, recall, and dismissal of the representatives of foreign governments

- Personally participates in or directs U.S. representatives to international conferences, organizations, and agencies

- Negotiates, interprets, and terminates treaties and agreements

- Ensures the protection of the U.S. Government to American citizens, property, and interests in foreign countries

- Supervises the administration of U.S. immigration laws abroad

- Provides information to American citizens regarding the political, economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian conditions in foreign countries

- Informs the Congress and American citizens on the conduct of U.S. foreign relations

- Promotes beneficial economic intercourse between the United States and other countries

- Administers the Department of State

- Supervises the Foreign Service of the United States

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2015 Budget

The President’s FY 2015 budget request for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is $46.2 billion. The request reflects continued American leadership in pursuit of stability and prosperity while making tough trade-offs to support national security, diplomatic, and development priorities.

Mindful of fiscal constraints, this budget provides American taxpayers a remarkable return on their investment in American leadership. With just over one percent of the federal budget, the State Department and USAID budget provides security, stability, prosperity, jobs, and opportunity as it addresses some of the most complex challenges of our time, ranging from extremism and fragile and failed states, to global food security and climate change. It also expands opportunities for diplomatic engagement with the governments and citizens in 190 countries, building partnerships that help protect U.S. interests, promote common values, expand economic opportunities at home and abroad, and empower the next generation.

Current Issues

The Department of State is currently using diplomacy to help protect the United States of America. They are trying to create peace within the Middle East and are actively trying to fight against terrorism.