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The United States Department of State (DOS), commonly referred to as the State Department, is a federal executive department that is equivalent to the foreign ministry of other countries, advising the U.S. President on foreign policy and conducting international relations. It was established in 1789 as the nation’s first executive department.
The State Department is responsible for carrying out the U.S. foreign policy, operating the nation’s diplomatic missions abroad, negotiating treaties and agreements with foreign entities, and representing the U.S. at the United Nations. It is led by the Secretary of State, a member of the Cabinet who is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Secretary of State serves as the nation’s chief diplomat and representative abroad, and the first Cabinet official in the order of precedence and in the presidential line of succession.
The State Department is headquartered in the Harry S Truman Building, a few blocks away from the White House, in the Foggy Bottomneighborhood of Washington, D.C.; “Foggy Bottom” is thus sometimes used as a metonym. The current Secretary of State is Mike Pompeo, who ascended to the office in April 2018 after Rex Tillerson resigned.
On behalf of the American people we promote and demonstrate democratic values and advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world.
The U.S. Department of State leads America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance by advancing the interests of the American people, their safety and economic prosperity.
There shall be at the seat of government an executive department to be known as the “Department of State,” and a Secretary of State, who shall be the head thereof. Learn More About Statutory Authority»
The principles that reflect the spirit and excellence of the U.S. Department of State. Learn More About Professional Ethos»
The State Department’s Public Engagement Activity
Prior to the publication of the 2016 Open Government Plan, the State Department published a draft of the Plan and conducted an online discussion between federal employees and the public on the initiatives proposed for inclusion in the 2016 Plan. The goal of this dialogue was to engage with the public on the topics of transparency, participation, and collaboration and to define how these objectives are represented in the Department’s Plan.
Using the online GovUp platform hosted by TechChange, participants in the online discussion were able to review the State Department’s proposed Open Government initiatives, make comments, and share ideas prior to the publication of 2016 Plan.
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Records and Reports
- Budget, Performance & Plans
- Congressional Testimony
- Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) and Handbook (FAH)
- Freedom of Information (FOIA) and Systems of Records Notices (SORNs)
- Reports to Congress and Other Major Publications
- Regulatory Review
Anti-Corruption and Transparency
Around the world, corruption saps economic growth, hinders development, destabilizes governments, undermines democracy, and provides openings for dangerous groups such as criminals, traffickers, and terrorists. The Department of State has made anti-corruption a national security priority and works across the globe to prevent graft, strengthen investigation and prosecution of corruption, promote accountability and transparency, and empower reformers.
By prioritizing anti-corruption, the Department seeks to make it even harder for criminality and terrorism to take root and spread, to promote governments that are more stable and accountable, and to level the playing field for U.S. businesses to compete in every region.
Read more about what specific bureaus are doing to support this policy issue:
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL): INL leads anti-corruption policy development, coordinates U.S. participation in multilateral fora focused on anti-corruption, and oversees programs to build partner capacity to prevent and combat corruption. Read more about INL
Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB): EB leads a number of anti-corruption initiatives, such as enlisting others in the fight against foreign bribery; leads the development and publication of the congressionally mandated Fiscal Transparency Report; and implements the Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund, a congressionally mandated grants program. Read more about EB
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL): DRL promotes freedom, protects human rights, and advances transparent and accountable governance worldwide as a means of preventing and combating corruption. DRL leads U.S. government engagement in the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and provides assistance to civil society organizations fighting corruption. Read more about DRL
Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR): ENR leads the U.S. commitment to the Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) as a Supporting Country. The U.S. government has been a strong supporter of EITI since its founding in 2003, recognizing that transparency is a critical component of sound governance in countries’ extractive sectors. Read more about ENR
Plans, Performance, Budget
Congressional Budget Justification
The FY 2020 Congressional Budget Justification – Department Of State, Foreign Operations, And Related Programs describes the funding required for State and USAID to carry out our missions worldwide. Read More About Congressional Budgets»
Agency Financial Report
The FY 2018 Agency Financial Report provides an overview of the Department’s financial and performance data to help Congress, the President, and the public assess our stewardship over the resources entrusted to us. Read More About Agency Financial Reports»
Inspector General Audits and Reports
The Office of Inspector General conducts independent audits, inspections, and investigations that advance the missions of the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
Government Accountability Office (GAO) Reports
GAO reports on all federal agencies to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government. To view the U.S. Department of State’s GAO reports click on the image or link, and search reports by date.
Joint Strategic Plan
The Department of State and USAID Joint Strategic Plan for FY 2018-2022 sets forth the vision and direction for both organizations, and presents how the Department and USAID will implement U.S. foreign policy and development assistance.
Joint Regional Strategies
The Department of State and USAID Joint Regional Strategies for 2018-2022 set forth the vision and direction for the regional bureaus of both organizations, and present how the Department and USAID will implement U.S. foreign policy and development assistance in each region.
Functional Bureau Strategies
The Department of State Functional Bureau Strategies for 2018-2022 set forth the vision and direction for the functional bureaus at the Department, and present how the Department will implement foreign policy and development assistance for cross-cutting issues.
Integrated Country Strategies
The Integrated Country Strategies for 2018-2022 set forth the Chief of Mission’s priorities and vision for each Mission. These strategies articulate a whole of government approach to the implementation of foreign policy and development assistance in each country.
Performance Plans and Reports
The Department of State’s annual performance plans and reports, submitted to the President, the Congress, and the American public, describe progress the Department is making toward the achievement of its long-term strategic goals and set forth performance targets for future years.
In some years, the Department of State has included its annual performance plan and report in the Congressional Budget Justification (CBJ). Recent Department of State Operations CBJs that include the Department’s annual performance plans and reports are listed on the left side of this screen. For a list of links to previous Department of State Operations CBJs, please visit http://2009-2017.state.gov/s/d/rm/rls/statecbj/index.htm.