Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Assistant Secretary of State
for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Seal of the United States Department of State
|Reports to||Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs|
|Nominator||President of the United States|
|Inaugural holder||William Walton Butterworth|
The Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs is the head of the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs within the United States Department of State. The Assistant Secretary guides operation of the U.S. diplomatic establishment in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and advises the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary for Political Affairs on matters relating to the area. The last permanent Assistant Secretary was Daniel R. Russel, who left on March 8, 2017. Susan Thornton is now Acting Assistant Secretary.
The Department of State established the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs in 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 November 1, 1966, the Department by administrative action changed the incumbent's designation to Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. The Division of Far Eastern Affairs, established in 1908, was the first geographical division to be established in the Department of State.
List of Assistant Secretaries of State for Far Eastern Affairs, 1949—1966
|Name||Assumed office||Left office||President served under|
|William Walton Butterworth||September 29, 1949||July 4, 1950||Harry S. Truman|
|Dean Rusk||March 28, 1950||December 9, 1951||Harry S. Truman|
|John Moore Allison||February 1, 1952||April 7, 1953||Harry S. Truman|
|Walter S. Robertson||April 8, 1953||June 30, 1959||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|J. Graham Parsons||July 1, 1959||March 30, 1961||Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|Walter P. McConaughy||April 24, 1961||December 3, 1961||John F. Kennedy|
|W. Averell Harriman||December 4, 1961||April 3, 1963||John F. Kennedy|
|Roger Hilsman||May 9, 1963||March 15, 1964||John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson|
List of Assistant Secretaries of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, 1966—present
- Dexter Filkins:
Nine months into Trump’s term, he still has not named an Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs... Susan Thornton, despite being rejected by the White House, has stayed on as the acting Assistant Secretary.
- "Assistant Secretaries of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs". Archived from the original on 23 September 2007. Retrieved September 21, 2007.
- Butterworth was initially appointed as "Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs." On March 20, 1950, his title was changed to "Assistant Secretary of State for Japanese Affairs."
- Initially commissioned during a recess of the Senate. He was later confirmed and re-commissioned on March 5, 1962.
- Godley was never commissioned and President Nixon withdrew his nomination before the Senate acted upon it.
- Nomination withdrawn.