United States Assistant Secretary of State

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In modern times, Assistant Secretary of State is a title used for many executive positions in the United States State Department. A set of six Assistant Secretaries reporting to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs manage diplomatic missions within their designated geographic regions, plus one Assistant Secretary dealing with international organizations, and another dealing with working with other countries on narcotics issues. Assistant Secretaries usually manage individual bureaus of the Department of State. When the manager of a bureau or another agency holds a title other than Assistant Secretary, such as "Director," it can be said to be of "Assistant Secretary equivalent rank."

From 1853 until 1913, the Assistant Secretary of State, was the second-ranking official within the U.S. Department of State. Prior to 1853, the Chief Clerk was the second-ranking officer, and after 1913, the Counselor was the second-ranking position, though the Assistant Secretary continued to be a position until 1924. From 1867, the Assistant Secretary of State was assisted by a Second Assistant Secretary of State, and from 1875, by a Third Assistant Secretary of State. Specific duties of the incumbents varied over the years and included such responsibilities as supervising the Diplomatic and Consular Bureaus, general supervision of correspondence, consular appointments, administration of the Department, and supervision of economic matters and various geographic divisions. Today, the title of the second-ranking position is the Deputy Secretary of State, with the next tier of State Department officials bearing the rank of Under Secretary of State.

The following is a list of current offices bearing the title of "Assistant Secretary of State":

List of Assistant Secretaries of State[edit]

# Picture Name State of Residency Term of Office President(s) served under Secretary of State(s) served under
1 Ambrose Dudley Mann Virginia March 23, 1853 - May 8, 1855 Franklin Pierce William L. Marcy
2 William Hunter[1] Rhode Island May 9, 1855 - October 31, 1855 Franklin Pierce William L. Marcy
3 John Addison Thomas New York November 1, 1855 - April 3, 1857 Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
William L. Marcy
Lewis Cass
4 John Appleton John Appleton Maine April 4, 1857 - June 10, 1860 James Buchanan Lewis Cass
5 William H. Trescot William H. Trescot South Carolina June 8, 1860 - December 20, 1860 James Buchanan Lewis Cass
Jeremiah S. Black
6 Frederick William Seward Frederick W. Seward New York March 6, 1861 - March 4, 1869 Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
William H. Seward
7 J.C. Bancroft Davis J.C. Bancroft Davis New York March 25, 1869 - November 13, 1871 Ulysses S. Grant Hamilton Fish
8 Charles Hale Charles Hale Massachusetts February 19, 1872 - January 24, 1873 Ulysses S. Grant Hamilton Fish
9 J.C. Bancroft Davis J.C. Bancroft Davis New York January 24, 1873 - January 30, 1874 Ulysses S. Grant Hamilton Fish
10 John Lambert Cadwalader John Lambert Cadwalader New York June 17, 1874 – March 20, 1877 Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
Hamilton Fish
William M. Evarts
11 Frederick William Seward Frederick W. Seward New York March 16, 1877 - October 31, 1879 Rutherford B. Hayes William M. Evarts
12 John Milton Hay John Hay Ohio November 1, 1879 - May 3, 1881 Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
William M. Evarts
James G. Blaine
13 Robert Roberts Hitt Robert R. Hitt Illinois May 4, 1881 - December 19, 1881 James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
James G. Blaine
14 J.C. Bancroft Davis J.C. Bancroft Davis New York December 19, 1881 - July 7, 1882 Chester A. Arthur Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
15 John Davis Washington DC July 7, 1882 - February 23, 1885 Chester A. Arthur Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
16 James D. Porter Tennessee March 20, 1885 - September 17, 1887 Grover Cleveland Thomas F. Bayard
17 George L. Rives New York November 19, 1887 - March 5, 1889 Grover Cleveland Thomas F. Bayard
18 William F. Wharton[2] Massachusetts April 2, 1889 - March 20, 1893 Benjamin Harrison
Grover Cleveland
James G. Blaine
John W. Foster
Walter Q. Gresham
19 Josiah Quincy Massachusetts March 20, 1893 - September 22, 1893 Grover Cleveland Walter Q. Gresham
20 Edwin F. Uhl[2] Michigan November 1, 1893 - February 11, 1896 Grover Cleveland Walter Q. Gresham
Richard Olney
21 William Woodville Rockhill William Woodville Rockhill Maryland February 11, 1896 - May 10, 1897 Grover Cleveland
William McKinley
Richard Olney
John Sherman
22 William Rufus Day William R. Day Ohio May 3, 1897 - April 27, 1898 William McKinley John Sherman
23 John Bassett Moore John B. Moore New York April 27, 1898 - September 16, 1898 William McKinley William R. Day
24 David Jayne Hill David J. Hill New York October 25, 1898 - January 28, 1903 William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
John Hay
25 Francis Butler Loomis Francis B. Loomis[2] Ohio January 7, 1903 - October 10, 1905 Theodore Roosevelt John Hay
Elihu Root
26 Robert Bacon Robert Bacon New York September 5, 1905 - January 27, 1909 Theodore Roosevelt Elihu Root
27 John Callan O'Laughlin Washington DC January 27, 1909 - March 5, 1909 Theodore Roosevelt Robert Bacon
28 Huntington Wilson Illinois March 5, 1909 - March 19, 1913 William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Philander C. Knox
William Jennings Bryan
29 John E. Osborne John E. Osborne Wyoming April 21, 1913 - December 14, 1916 Thomas Woodrow Wilson William Jennings Bryan
Robert Lansing
30 Latest photo, just received from Holland, of W. Phillips, American Minister to Holland.jpg William Phillips Massachusetts January 24, 1917 - March 25, 1920 Thomas Woodrow Wilson Robert Lansing
Bainbridge Colby
31 Fred Dearing.jpg Fred Morris Dearing Missouri March 11, 1921 - February 28, 1922 Warren G. Harding Charles Evans Hughes
32 Leland B. Harrison Leland B. Harrison Illinois March 31, 1922 - June 30, 1924 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Charles Evans Hughes
32 Wilbur J. Carr Wilbur J. Carr Ohio July 1, 1924 – July 28, 1937 Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Franklin Roosevelt
Charles Evans Hughes
Frank B. Kellogg
Henry L. Stimson
Cordell Hull

Second Assistant Secretary of State[edit]

The Consular and Diplomatic Appropriations Act for the year ending June 30, 1867 authorized the President to appoint a Second Assistant Secretary of State. Duties of incumbents varied less over the years than did those of the other Assistant Secretary positions. Responsibilities included: supervision of correspondence with diplomatic officers; preparation of drafts of treaties, conventions, diplomatic notes, and instructions; detailed treatment of current diplomatic and political questions; approval of correspondence for the signature of the Secretary or Acting Secretary; and consultation on matters of diplomatic procedure, international law and policy, and traditional practices of the Department. The Foreign Service Act of 1924 abolished numerical titles for Assistant Secretaries of State. Only two people held the position from 1866 to 1924.

# Picture Name State of Residency Term of Office President(s) served under Secretary of State(s) served under
1 William Hunter Rhode Island July 27, 1866 - July 22, 1886 Andrew Johnson
Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
Grover Cleveland
William H. Seward
Elihu Benjamin Washburne
Hamilton Fish
William Maxwell Evarts
James Gillespie Blaine
Frederick Theodore Frelinghuysen
Thomas F. Bayard, Sr.
2 AAAoftheState.jpg Alvey A. Adee District of Columbia August 3, 1886 - June 30, 1924 Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Thomas Woodrow Wilson
Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Thomas F. Bayard, Sr.
James Gillespie Blaine
John Watson Foster
Walter Quintin Gresham
Richard Olney
John Sherman
William Rufus Day
John Milton Hay
Elihu Root
Robert Bacon
Philander Chase Knox
William Jennings Bryan
Robert Lansing
Bainbridge Colby
Charles Evans Hughes

Third Assistant Secretary of State[edit]

A Federal appropriations act for the year ending Jun 30, 1875 (Jun 20, 1874; 18 Stat. 90), authorized the President to appoint a Third Assistant Secretary of State. The Secretary of State was authorized to prescribe the duties of the Assistant Secretaries and other Department of State employees, "and may make changes and transfers therein when, in his judgment, it becomes necessary." The Third Assistant Secretary's duties varied over the years, including such diverse assignments as: supervision of several geographic divisions; oversight of the Bureaus of Accounts and Appointments; international conferences and commissions; and ceremonials and protocol, including presentation to the President of chiefs of foreign diplomatic missions. The Foreign Service Act of 1924 (May 24, 1924; 43 Stat 146) abolished numerical titles for Assistant Secretaries of State.

# Picture Name State of Residency Term of Office President(s) served under Secretary of State(s) served under
1 John Allen Campbell.jpg John Allen Campbell Wyoming February 24, 1875 - November 30, 1877 Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
Hamilton Fish
William M. Evarts
2 Charles Payson Massachusetts, New York June 22, 1878 - June 30, 1881 Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
William M. Evarts
James G. Blaine
3 Walker Blaine Maine July 1, 1881 - June 30, 1882 James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
James G. Blaine
Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
4 AAAoftheState.jpg Alvey A. Adee District of Columbia July 18, 1882 - August 5, 1886 Chester A. Arthur
Grover Cleveland
Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
Thomas F. Bayard, Sr.
5 JB-Moore2.jpg John Bassett Moore Delaware, New York August 6, 1886 - September 30, 1891 Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas F. Bayard, Sr.
James G. Blaine
6 William Morton Grinnell New York February 15, 1892 - April 16, 1893 Benjamin Harrison
Grover Cleveland
James G. Blaine
John W. Foster
7 Edward Henry Strobel New York April 17, 1893 - April 16, 1894 Grover Cleveland Walter Q. Gresham
8 William Woodville Rockhill.jpg William Woodville Rockhill District of Columbia, Maryland April 17, 1894 - February 13, 1896 Grover Cleveland Walter Q. Gresham
Richard Olney
9 William Woodward Baldwin New York February 29, 1896 - April 1, 1897 Grover Cleveland, William McKinley Richard Olney
John Sherman
10 Thomas Wilbur Cridler, 3rd Assistant Secretary of State, full-length portrait, seated, facing right.jpg Thomas Wilbur Cridler West Virginia April 8, 1897 - November 15, 1901 William McKinley John Sherman
William R. Day
John Hay
11 Herbert Henry Davis Peirce Massachusetts November 16, 1901 - June 22, 1906 Theodore Roosevelt John Hay
Elihu Root
12 Huntington Wilson Illinois July 2, 1906 - December 30, 1908 Theodore Roosevelt Elihu Root
13 Latest photo, just received from Holland, of W. Phillips, American Minister to Holland.jpg William Phillips Massachusetts January 11, 1909 - October 13, 1909 Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft Elihu Root
Robert Bacon
Philander C. Knox
14 Chandler-Hale.jpg Chandler Hale Maine October 14, 1909 - April 21, 1913 William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson Philander C. Knox
William Jennings Bryan
15 Dudley Field Malone.jpg Dudley Field Malone New York April 22, 1913 - November 22, 1913 Woodrow Wilson William Jennings Bryan
16 Latest photo, just received from Holland, of W. Phillips, American Minister to Holland.jpg William Phillips Massachusetts March 17, 1914 - January 24, 1917 Woodrow Wilson William Jennings Bryan
Robert Lansing
17 BreckinridgeLong22.jpg Breckinridge Long Massachusetts January 29, 1917 - June 8, 1920 Woodrow Wilson Robert Lansing
Bainbridge Colby
18 Van Santvoord Merle-Smith New York June 24, 1920 - March 4, 1921 Woodrow Wilson Bainbridge Colby
19 Robert Woods Bliss New York March 16, 1921 - May 3, 1923 Warren G. Harding Charles Evans Hughes
20 J. Butler Wright.jpg J. Butler Wright Wyoming June 11, 1923 - June 30, 1924 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Charles Evans Hughes

Defunct offices including the designation of Assistant Secretary of State[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Served as Acting Secretary of State, but not during term as Assistant Secretary of State.
  2. ^ a b c Served as Acting Secretary of State

External links[edit]