Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs

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United States
Assistant Secretary of State
for Western Hemisphere Affairs
Roberta S Jacobson.jpg
Incumbent
Roberta S. Jacobson

since March 30, 2012
Inaugural holder Nelson Rockefeller
Formation 1944
Website state.gov/p/wha/

[dated info]

The Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs is the head of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs within the United States Department of State, the foreign affairs department of the United States federal government. The Assistant Secretary of State guides operation of the U.S. diplomatic establishment in the countries of the Western Hemisphere and advises the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. The current Assistant Secretary is Roberta S. Jacobson, who was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs on March 30, 2012.[1]

The Department of State created the position of Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs during the general reorganization of December 20, 1944, after Congress had authorized an increase in the number of Assistant Secretaries of State from four to six. This reorganization was the first to assign substantive designations to specific Assistant Secretary positions. The position was temporarily discontinued between June 1947 and June 1949, when American Republic Affairs were handled by an Assistant Secretary for Political Affairs.[2]

The Department re-established the position in June 1949 after the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government recommended that certain offices be upgraded to bureau level and after Congress increased the number of Assistant Secretaries of State from six to ten. On October 3, 1949, the Department by administrative action changed the incumbent's designation to Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs. The Department of State had first established a Division of Latin American Affairs in 1909.[2]

List of Assistant Secretaries of State for American Republic Affairs, 1944–1949[edit]

Name Assumed Office Left Office President served under
Nelson Rockefeller December 20, 1944 August 17, 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman
Spruille Braden October 29, 1945 June 27, 1947 Harry S. Truman

List of Assistant Secretaries of State for Inter-American Affairs, 1949–2000[edit]

Name Assumed Office Left Office President served under
Edward G. Miller, Jr. June 28, 1949 December 31, 1952 Harry S. Truman
John M. Cabot March 3, 1953 March 1, 1954 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Henry F. Holland March 2, 1954 September 13, 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Roy R. Rubottom, Jr. June 18, 1957 August 27, 1960 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Thomas C. Mann August 28, 1960 April 20, 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy
Robert F. Woodward July 17, 1961 March 17, 1962 John F. Kennedy
Edwin M. Martin May 18, 1962 January 2, 1964 John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson
Thomas C. Mann January 3, 1964 March 17, 1965 Lyndon B. Johnson
Jack Hood Vaughn March 22, 1965 February 28, 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson
Lincoln Gordon March 9, 1966 June 30, 1967 Lyndon B. Johnson
Covey T. Oliver July 1, 1967 December 31, 1968 Lyndon B. Johnson
Charles A. Meyer April 2, 1969 March 2, 1973 Richard Nixon
Jack B. Kubisch May 29, 1973 September 4, 1974 Richard Nixon
William D. Rogers October 7, 1974 June 18, 1976 Gerald Ford
Harry W. Shlaudeman July 22, 1976 March 14, 1977 Gerald Ford
Terence Todman April 1, 1977 June 27, 1978 Jimmy Carter
Viron P. Vaky July 21, 1978 November 30, 1979 Jimmy Carter
William G. Bowdler January 4, 1980 January 16, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Thomas O. Enders June 23, 1981 June 27, 1983 Ronald Reagan
Langhorne A. Motley July 12, 1983 July 3, 1985 Ronald Reagan
Elliott Abrams July 17, 1985 January 20, 1989 Ronald Reagan
Bernard W. Aronson June 16, 1989 July 2, 1993 George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton
Alexander Watson July 2, 1993 March 29, 1996 Bill Clinton
Jeffrey Davidow August 7, 1996 Bill Clinton

List of Assistant Secretaries of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, 2000–present[edit]

Name Assumed Office Left Office President served under
Peter F. Romero January 4, 2001[3] June 4, 2001 Bill Clinton and George W. Bush
Otto Reich January 11, 2002 November 22, 2002 George W. Bush
Roger Noriega July 31, 2003 October 6, 2005 George W. Bush
Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. October 17, 2005 November 5, 2009 George W. Bush and Barack Obama
Arturo Valenzuela November 10, 2009 August 31, 2011 Barack Obama
Roberta S. Jacobson March 30, 2012 Incumbent Barack Obama

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs". Archived from the original on 22 September 2007. Retrieved September 21, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "Assistant Secretaries for Western Hemisphere Affairs". Archived from the original on 15 September 2007. Retrieved September 21, 2007. 
  3. ^ Served as Acting Assistant Secretary from July 7, 1999.