List of foreign-born United States Cabinet Secretaries

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Madeleine Albright (left) and Henry Kissinger (right) are the highest-ranking Cabinet members to have been born outside the United States; both held the post of Secretary of State.[1]
German-born Michael Blumenthal was appointed to the Cabinet by Jimmy Carter as his Secretary of the Treasury.

As of 2013, the United States Cabinet has had 20 appointed members in its history who were born outside the present-day United States. Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers who signed the United States Constitution, was the first Cabinet member to be born outside of the United States.[1] Born in Nevis in 1755, Hamilton was appointed by President George Washington as the country's first Secretary of Treasury in 1789.[2][3] Irish-born James McHenry, who was appointed by Washington as Secretary of War in 1796 and served the same post in John Adams's administration, was the other foreign-born individual in Washington's Cabinet.[4] Albert Gallatin, born in Switzerland, became the third foreign-born member of the Cabinet when he was named Secretary of Treasury by President Thomas Jefferson.[5][6] Gallatin, his successor George Campbell, William Duane, Carl Schurz and James Wilson were the only foreign-born members to hold Cabinet positions in the 19th century. In the 20th century, nine foreign-born individuals were appointed to the Cabinet, including German-born Oscar Straus and Mexican-born George Romney, father of former Governor of Massachusetts and the 2012 Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney.[7] During the tenure of President George W. Bush, three more foreign-born individuals were appointed to the Cabinet—Elaine L. Chao, Mel Martinez in 2001 and Carlos Gutierrez in 2005.[1] Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell is the only current foreign-born secretary.

The Department of Treasury has had the most foreign-born Secretaries, with five. Department of Labor and Interior follow with three, and the departments of Housing and Urban Development and State have each had two. Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright were the highest-ranking foreign-born Cabinet members ever in accordance to the United States presidential line of succession.[1] The majority of foreign-born Cabinet members were born in Europe. Most European-born Cabinet members originated from the United Kingdom and Germany with five and four respectively, and the others were born in Ireland, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland and Italy. Four Cabinet members were born in the Americas, and one was born in Asia. The departments of Defense, Justice, Health and Human Services, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security have not had foreign-born Secretaries.

Since most foreign born Cabinet members are not natural-born citizens—meaning that they were not born in the United States or born abroad to American parents—they are ineligible to exercise the powers of the President of the United States in the event that "neither a President nor Vice President" is able to "discharge the powers and duties" of the presidency as specified in the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.[8][9]

Foreign-born Secretaries[edit]

Current departments[edit]

Numerical order represents the seniority of the Secretaries in the United States presidential line of succession.

 *  denotes the first foreign-born secretary of that particular department
# Secretary Position Year
appointed
Country of birth Party Administration Ref
1 Kissinger, HenryHenry Kissinger* Secretary of State 1973 Germany Republican Richard Nixon [10][11]
Gerald Ford
1 Albright, MadeleineMadeleine Albright Secretary of State 1997 Czechoslovakia Democratic Clinton, BillBill Clinton [12][13]
2 Hamilton, AlexanderAlexander Hamilton* Secretary of the Treasury 1789 British West Indies (Nevis) No party Washington, GeorgeGeorge Washington [2][3]
2 Gallatin, AlbertAlbert Gallatin Secretary of the Treasury 1801 Switzerland Democratic-Republican Jefferson, ThomasThomas Jefferson [5][6]
Madison, JamesJames Madison
2 Campbell, GeorgeGeorge Campbell Secretary of the Treasury 1814 United Kingdom Democratic-Republican Madison, JamesJames Madison [14]
2 Duane, WilliamWilliam Duane Secretary of the Treasury 1833 United Kingdom Democratic Jackson, AndrewAndrew Jackson [15]
2 Blumenthal, MichaelMichael Blumenthal Secretary of the Treasury 1977 Germany Democratic Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter [16][17]
3  — Secretary of Defense  —[a]  —[a]  —[a]  —[a]  —
4  — Attorney General  —[b]  —[b]  —[b]  —[b]  —
5 Schurz, CarlCarl Schurz* Secretary of the Interior 1877 Germany Republican Hayes, Rutherford B.Rutherford B. Hayes [1][18]
5 Lane, Franklin KnightFranklin Knight Lane Secretary of the Interior 1913 Prince Edward Island Democratic Wilson, WoodrowWoodrow Wilson [19]
5 Jewell, SallySally Jewell Secretary of the Interior 2013 United Kingdom Democratic Obama, BarackBarack Obama
6 Wilson, JamesJames Wilson* Secretary of Agriculture 1897 United Kingdom Republican McKinley, WilliamWilliam McKinley [20]
Roosevelt, TheodoreTheodore Roosevelt
Taft, William HowardWilliam Howard Taft
7 Gutierrez, CarlosCarlos Gutierrez* Secretary of Commerce 2005 Cuba Republican Bush, George W.George W. Bush [21][22]
8 Wilson, William BauchopWilliam Bauchop Wilson* Secretary of Labor 1913 United Kingdom Democratic Wilson, WoodrowWoodrow Wilson [23]
8 Davis, JamesJames Davis Secretary of Labor 1921 United Kingdom Republican Harding, Warren G.Warren G. Harding [24][25]
Coolidge, CalvinCalvin Coolidge
Hoover, HerbertHerbert Hoover
8 Chao, ElaineElaine Chao Secretary of Labor 2001 Republic of China Republican Bush, George W.George W. Bush [1][26]
9  — Secretary of Health and Human Services  —[c]  —[c]  —[c]  —[c]  —
10 Romney, GeorgeGeorge Romney* Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 1969 Mexico Republican Richard Nixon [27][28]
10 Martinez, MelMel Martinez Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 2001 Cuba Republican Bush, George W.George W. Bush [1]
11  — Secretary of Transportation  —[d]  —[d]  —[d]  —[d]  —
12  — Secretary of Energy  —[e]  —[e]  —[e]  —[e]  —
13  — Secretary of Education  —[f]  —[f]  —[f]  —[f]  —
14  — Secretary of Veterans Affairs  —[g]  —[g]  —[g]  —[g]  —
15  — Secretary of Homeland Security  —[h]  —[h]  —[h]  —[h]  —

Defunct departments[edit]

The departments are listed in order of their establishment (earliest first).

 *  denotes the first foreign-born secretary of that particular department
# Secretary Position Year
appointed
Country of birth Party Administration References
1  — Postmaster General  —[i]  —[i]  —[i]  —[i]  —
2  — Secretary of the Navy  —[j]  —[j]  —[j]  —[j]  —
3 McHenry, JamesJames McHenry* Secretary of War[k] 1796 Ireland No party
Federalist
Washington, GeorgeGeorge Washington [4]
John Adams
4 Straus, OscarOscar Straus* Secretary of Commerce and Labor[l] 1906 Germany Republican Roosevelt, TheodoreTheodore Roosevelt [29]
5 Celebrezze, AnthonyAnthony Celebrezze* Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare[m] 1962 Italy Democratic Kennedy, John F.John F. Kennedy [30]
Johnson, LyndonLyndon Johnson

Foreign-born individuals who have held cabinet-level positions[edit]

Zalmay Khalilzad was the first Afghan to serve as the Ambassador to the United Nations.

The following list includes those who were born outside of the United States and have held cabinet-level positions other than the 15 executive departments. The table below is organized based on the time at which a foreign-born individual was appointed to a cabinet-level position.

 *  denotes the first foreign-born head of that particular cabinet-level position
Secretary Position Year
appointed
Country of birth Party Administration References
Kissinger, HenryHenry Kissinger* National Security Advisor 1969 Germany Republican Nixon, RichardRichard Nixon [10][11]
Ford, GeraldGerald Ford
Brzezinski, ZbigniewZbigniew Brzezinski National Security Advisor 1977 Poland Democratic Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter [31]
Albright, MadeleineMadeleine Albright* Ambassador to the United Nations[n] 1993 Czechoslovakia Democratic Clinton, BillBill Clinton [12][13]
Deutch, JohnJohn Deutch* Director of Central Intelligence 1995 Belgium Democratic Clinton, BillBill Clinton [32][33]
Negroponte, JohnJohn Negroponte Ambassador to the United Nations[n] 2001 United Kingdom Republican Bush, George W.George W. Bush [34]
Khalilzad, ZalmayZalmay Khalilzad Ambassador to the United Nations[n] 2007 Afghanistan Republican Bush, George W.George W. Bush [35][36]
Negroponte, JohnJohn Negroponte* Director of National Intelligence 2007 United Kingdom Republican Bush, George W.George W. Bush [34]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • a The Department of Defense was established in 1947; no foreign-born person has served yet.[37]
  • b The Department of Justice was established in 1870; no foreign-born person has served yet.
  • c The Department of Health and Human Services was established in 1979; no foreign-born person has served yet.
  • d The Department of Transportation was established in 1966; no foreign-born person has served yet.
  • e The Department of Energy was established in 1977; no foreign-born person has served yet.
  • f The Department of Education was established in 1979; no foreign-born person has served yet.
  • g The Department of Veterans Affairs was established in 1989; no foreign-born person has served yet.[38]
  • h The Department of Homeland Security was established in 2002; no foreign-born person has served yet.
  • i The Postmaster General ceased to be a member of the Cabinet when the Post Office Department was re-organized into the United States Postal Service, a special agency independent of the executive branch, by the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act. No foreign-born person had ever served while it was a Cabinet post.[39]
  • j The Secretary of the Navy ceased to be a member of the Cabinet when the Department of the Navy was absorbed into the Department of Defense in 1947. No foreign-born person had ever served while it was a Cabinet post.[40][41]
  • k The position of Secretary of War became defunct when the Department of War became the Department of Defense in 1947.[42]
  • l The position of Secretary of Commerce and Labor became defunct when the Department of Commerce and Labor was subdivided into two separate entities in 1913.[43]
  • m The position of Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare became defunct when the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare was subdivided into two separate entities in 1979.[44]
  • n The United States Ambassador to the United Nations is a cabinet-level position under the Clinton and Obama administrations. It was not a cabinet-level position under the Bush administration from 2001 to 2009.[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Haddock, Vicki (November 2, 2003). "President Schwarzenegger? Some think it's time to stop excluding foreign-born citizens from serving in the Oval Office". San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Communications Inc). Retrieved January 21, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Alexander Hamilton". United States Department of the Treasury. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b "Hamilton, Alexander, (1757 - 1804)". United States Congress. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b "James McHenry". United States Army. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Albert Gallatin". United States Department of the Treasury. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  6. ^ a b "Gallatin, Albert, (1761 - 1849)". United States Congress. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  7. ^ Rutenberg, Jim; Zeleny, Jeff. "Mitt Romney". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  8. ^ "The Constitution of the United States: Article II. Executive Department (p.455-456)" (PDF). gpoaccess.gov. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Code: Title 3, 19. Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act". Cornell University Law School. Retrieved November 16, 2008. 
  10. ^ a b "Henry Kissinger". Nobel Foundation. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  11. ^ a b "Secretary of State Henry Alfred Kissinger". United States Department of State. Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  12. ^ a b "Secretary of State Madeleine Korbel Albright". United States Department of State. Archived from the original on July 9, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  13. ^ a b Brockes, Emma (October 30, 2003). "'I loved what I did'". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media Limited). Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  14. ^ "Campbell, George Washington, (1769 - 1848)". United States Congress. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  15. ^ "William J. Duane (1833 -1833): Secretary of the Treasury". University of Virginia. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Michael Blumenthal". United States Department of the Treasury. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  17. ^ "W. Michael Blumenthal". Jewish Museum Berlin. Retrieved November 10, 2008. [dead link]
  18. ^ "Schurz, Carl, (1829 - 1906)". United States Congress. Retrieved November 16, 2008. 
  19. ^ "Franklin Knight Lane". National Park Service. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Wilson, James, (1835 - 1920)". United States Congress. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Carlos Gutierrez". United States Department of Commerce. Retrieved November 10, 2008. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Profile: Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez". ABC News. January 25, 2005. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  23. ^ "William B. Wilson". United States Department of Labor. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  24. ^ "James J. Davis". United States Department of Labor. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  25. ^ "Davis, James John, (1873 - 1947)". United States Congress. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  26. ^ "Profile: Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao". ABC News. ABCNews Internet Ventures. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  27. ^ Rosenbaum, David E. (July 27, 1995). "George Romney Dies at 88; A Leading G.O.P. Figure". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  28. ^ "HUD Secretaries". United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Retrieved November 25, 2008. [dead link]
  29. ^ "Oscar S. Straus in Roosevelt's Cabinet; Will Be the First Jew to Hold Such a Post in This Country. Meyer Postmaster General Metcalf Secretary of the Navy -Cortelyou to Head the Treasury Department". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). October 24, 1906. Retrieved November 12, 2008. 
  30. ^ "Anthony J. Celebrezze 1910-1998". Ohio Northern University. Retrieved November 25, 2008. 
  31. ^ "Zbigniew Brzezinski". Johns Hopkins University. 2004. Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  32. ^ Weiner, Tim (March 11, 1995). "Man in the News: John Mark Deutch; Reluctant Helmsman for a Troubled Agency". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  33. ^ Lewis, Neil A. (September 17, 2000). "Investigation Of Ex-Chief Of the C.I.A. Is Broadened". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  34. ^ a b Collins, Dan (April 19, 2004). "Bush Taps Negroponte For Iraq Post". CBS News (CBS Interactive Inc). Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  35. ^ Cooper, Helene (January 6, 2007). "Man in the News: Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad; On to a New Trouble Spot". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  36. ^ Hoge, Warren (June 6, 2007). "Praise at U.N. for a New U.S. Envoy’s Inclusive Tactics and Convivial Style". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  37. ^ "Histories of the Secretaries of Defense". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Fact Sheet: Facts About the Department of Veterans Affairs". United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Archived from the original on April 30, 2008. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  39. ^ "The United States Postal Service — An American History 1775 – 2002". United States Postal Service. September 2003. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Secretaries of the Navy". Department of the Navy. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  42. ^ "Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved January 25, 2009. 
  43. ^ "General Records of the Department of Commerce". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved January 25, 2009. 
  44. ^ "General Records of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved January 25, 2009. 
  45. ^ Kelemen, Michele (December 1, 2008). "U.N. Envoy Nominee Rice Known As Smart, Tough". National Public Radio. Retrieved January 21, 2009. "The head of the United Nations Foundation, a Washington-based advocacy group, released a statement praising Rice as well as Obama's decision to make the post of U.N. ambassador a Cabinet-level position once again — as it was during the Clinton years."