Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs

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United States
Assistant Secretary of State
for European and Eurasian Affairs
US Department of State official seal.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
John A. Heffern US State Dept photo.jpg
Incumbent
John A. Heffern
Acting

since January 20, 2017
Reports to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Nominator President of the United States
Inaugural holder George Walbridge Perkins, Jr.
Formation August 1949
Website Official Website

The Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs is a position within the United States Department of State that leads the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs charged with implementing American foreign policy in Europe and Eurasia, and with advising the Under Secretary for Political Affairs on matters relating to diplomatic missions within that area. The Assistant Secretary is still to be appointed.

Originally, the Department of State first established a Division of Western European Affairs in 1909, which handled European nations primarily bordering on the Atlantic Ocean and their colonies. The Division of Near Eastern Affairs handled relations with most Central, Eastern, and Southern European countries until after World War I. During the interwar period, responsibility for much of Central and Eastern Europe shifted to the Division of European Affairs, although Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus were handled as part of the Near East until April 18, 1974. Following World War II, the Department completed the transfer of responsibility for the former colonies of European nations, except Canada, to the Bureaus of Near Eastern, South Asian, African Affairs, and Far Eastern Affairs.

The Department of State later established the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs in 1949. This came after the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government, also known as the Hoover Commission, recommended that certain offices be upgraded to bureau level after Congress had increased the number of Assistant Secretaries of State from six to ten. On September 14, 1983, an administrative action changed the title of the incumbent to Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs. On January 12, 1999, the title was changed back to Assistant Secretary for European Affairs. During the George W. Bush administration, A. Elizabeth Jones was sworn in with the title of Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

List of Assistant Secretaries of State for European Affairs, 1949–1983[edit]

Name Assumed Office Left Office President served under
George Walbridge Perkins, Jr. August 1, 1949 January 31, 1953 Harry S. Truman
Livingston T. Merchant March 16, 1953 May 6, 1956 Dwight D. Eisenhower
James Williams Riddleberger [1] Dwight D. Eisenhower
Charles Burke Elbrick February 14, 1957 November 16, 1958 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Livingston T. Merchant November 18, 1958[2] August 20, 1959 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Walter C. Dowling [3] Dwight D. Eisenhower
Foy D. Kohler December 11, 1959[4] August 19, 1962 Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy
William R. Tyler September 2, 1962 May 18, 1965 John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson
John M. Leddy June 16, 1965 February 19, 1969 Lyndon B. Johnson
Martin J. Hillenbrand February 20, 1969 April 30, 1972 Richard Nixon
Walter John Stoessel, Jr. August 9, 1972 January 7, 1974 Richard Nixon
Arthur A. Hartman January 8, 1974 June 8, 1977 Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford
George S. Vest June 16, 1977 April 14, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Lawrence Eagleburger May 14, 1981 January 26, 1982 Ronald Reagan

List of Assistant Secretaries of State for European and Canadian Affairs, 1983–1999[edit]

Name Assumed Office Left Office President served under
Richard R. Burt February 18, 1983[5] July 18, 1985 Ronald Reagan
Rozanne L. Ridgway July 19, 1985 June 30, 1989[6] Ronald Reagan
Raymond G. H. Seitz August 8, 1989 April 30, 1991 George H. W. Bush
Thomas Niles October 3, 1991 April 1, 1993 George H. W. Bush
Stephen A. Oxman April 2, 1993 August 15, 1994 Bill Clinton
Richard Holbrooke September 13, 1994 February 21, 1996 Bill Clinton
John C. Kornblum July 3, 1996 August 1, 1997 Bill Clinton
Marc Grossman August 5, 1997 May 31, 2000 Bill Clinton

List of Assistant Secretaries of State for European Affairs, 1999–2001[edit]

The title of "Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs" was changed to "Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs" on January 12, 1999.

Name Assumed Office Left Office President served under
Marc Grossman August 5, 1997 May 31, 2000 Bill Clinton
James F. Dobbins January 4, 2001[7] Bill Clinton and George W. Bush
A. Elizabeth Jones June 1, 2001 February 28, 2005 George W. Bush

List of Assistant Secretaries of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, 2001–present[edit]

The title of "Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs" was changed to "Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs" on August 8, 2001.

Name Assumed Office Left Office President served under
A. Elizabeth Jones June 1, 2001 February 28, 2005 George W. Bush
Daniel Fried May 5, 2005 2009 George W. Bush
Philip Gordon May 15, 2009 March, 2013 Barack Obama
Victoria Nuland September 18, 2013 January 20, 2017 Barack Obama

References[edit]

  1. ^ Appointed on October 15, 1956; declined appointment.
  2. ^ Initially commissioned during Senate recess; after confirmation by Senate, re-commissioned on January 29, 1959.
  3. ^ Appointed August 26, 1959, but never took oath of office.
  4. ^ Initially commissioned during Senate recess; after confirmation by Senate, re-commissioned on January 27, 1960.
  5. ^ He was first nominated on May 10, 1982, but the Senate did not act on this first nomination.
  6. ^ The State Department's website (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/po/12047.htm) gives the date as June 30, 1985, but given the context, this appears to be a typo for 1989.
  7. ^ He had previously been nominated on September 26, 2000, but the Senate did not act on that nomination.

External links[edit]