United States Department of State
The United States Department of State referred to as the State Department, is the federal executive department that advises the President and conducts international relations. Equivalent to the foreign ministry of other countries, it was established in 1789 as the nation's first executive department; the current Secretary of State is Mike Pompeo, who ascended to the office in April 2018 after Rex Tillerson resigned. The State Department's duties include implementing the foreign policy of the United States, operating the nation's diplomatic missions abroad, negotiating treaties and agreements with foreign entities, representing the United States at the United Nations, it is led by the Secretary of State, a member of the Cabinet, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. In addition to administering the department, the Secretary of State serves as the nation's chief diplomat and representative abroad; the Secretary of State is the first Cabinet official in the order of precedence and in the presidential line of succession, after the Vice President of the United States, Speaker of the House of Representatives, President pro tempore of the Senate.
The State Department is headquartered in the Harry S Truman Building, a few blocks away from the White House, in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D. C.. The U. S. Constitution, drafted in Philadelphia in September 1787 and ratified by the 13 states the following year, gave the President the responsibility for the conduct of the nation's foreign relations; the House of Representatives and Senate approved legislation to establish a Department of Foreign Affairs on July 21, 1789, President Washington signed it into law on July 27, making the Department of Foreign Affairs the first federal agency to be created under the new Constitution. This legislation remains the basic law of the Department of State. In September 1789, additional legislation changed the name of the agency to the Department of State and assigned to it a variety of domestic duties; these responsibilities grew to include management of the United States Mint, keeper of the Great Seal of the United States, the taking of the census.
President George Washington signed the new legislation on September 15. Most of these domestic duties of the Department of State were turned over to various new federal departments and agencies that were established during the 19th century. However, the Secretary of State still retains a few domestic responsibilities, such as being the keeper of the Great Seal and being the officer to whom a President or Vice President of the United States wishing to resign must deliver an instrument in writing declaring the decision to resign. On September 29, 1789, President Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson of Virginia Minister to France, to be the first United States Secretary of State. John Jay had been serving in as Secretary of Foreign Affairs as a holdover from the Confederation since before Washington had taken office and would continue in that capacity until Jefferson returned from Europe many months later. From 1790 to 1800, the State Department had its headquarters in Philadelphia, the capital of the United States at the time.
It occupied a building at Fifth Streets. In 1800, it moved from Philadelphia to Washington, D. C. where it first occupied the Treasury Building and the Seven Buildings at 19th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. It moved into the Six Buildings in September 1800, where it remained until May 1801, it moved into the War Office Building due west of the White House in May 1801. It occupied the Treasury Building from September 1819 to November 1866, except for the period from September 1814 to April 1816, it occupied the Washington City Orphan Home from November 1866 to July 1875. It moved to the State and Navy Building in 1875. Since May 1947, it has occupied the Harry S. Truman Building in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington. Condoleezza Rice became the second female secretary of state in 2005. Hillary Clinton became the third female secretary of state when she was appointed in 2009. In 2014, the State Department began expanding into the Navy Hill Complex across 23rd Street NW from the Truman Building.
A joint venture consisting of the architectural firms of Goody and the Louis Berger Group won a $2.5 million contract in January 2014 to begin planning the renovation of the buildings on the 11.8 acres Navy Hill campus, which housed the World War II headquarters of the Office of Strategic Services and was the first headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Executive Branch and the U. S. Congress have constitutional responsibilities for U. S. foreign policy. Within the Executive Branch, the Department of State is the lead U. S. foreign affairs agency, its head, the Secretary of State, is the President's principal foreign policy advisor. The Department advances U. S. objectives and interests in the world through its primary role in developing and implementing the President's foreign policy. It provides an array of important services to U. S. citizens and to foreigners seeking to visit or immigrate to the United States. All foreign affairs activities—U. S. Representation abroad, foreign assistance programs, countering internatio
Meritorious Honor Award
The Meritorious Honor Award is an award of the United States Department of State. Similar versions of the same award exist for the former U. S. Information Agency, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, USAID, it is presented to groups or individuals in recognition of a special act or service or sustained outstanding performance. The award consists of a certificate signed by an assistant secretary, an official of equivalent rank or the Chief of Mission. While the FAM still stipulates award of a medal set, per a 2007 ALDAC, medals are no longer issued; the following criteria are applicable to granting a Meritorious Honor Award: Outstanding service in support of a one-time event. Nominations for State and USAID employees are submitted on Form JF-66, Nomination for Award, through supervisory channels to the Joint Country Awards Committee for review and recommendation to the Chief of Mission for final action. Nominations initiated in Washington are submitted to the appropriate area awards committee for final action.
For USAID, nominations initiated in Washington are reviewed by the USAID bureau/office with final approval by the appropriate assistant administrator or office head. Upon authorization, members of the U. S. military, with the exception of the Marine Corps, may wear the medal and ribbon in the appropriate order of precedence as a U. S. non-military personal decoration. USAID Meritorious Honor Award Awards of the United States Department of State Awards and decorations of the United States government United States Department of State U. S. Foreign Service
United States Foreign Service
The United States Foreign Service is the primary personnel system used by the diplomatic service of the United States federal government, under the aegis of the United States Department of State. It consists of over 13,000 professionals carrying out the foreign policy of the United States and aiding U. S. citizens abroad. Created in 1924 by the Rogers Act, the Foreign Service combined all consular and diplomatic services of the U. S. government into one administrative unit. In addition to the unit's function, the Rogers Act defined a personnel system under which the United States Secretary of State is authorized to assign diplomats abroad. Members of the Foreign Service are selected through a series of oral examinations, they serve at any of the 265 United States diplomatic missions around the world, including embassies and other facilities. Members of the Foreign Service staff the headquarters of the four foreign affairs agencies: the Department of State, headquartered at the Harry S Truman Building in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.
C.. The United States Foreign Service is managed by a Director General, an official, appointed by the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the Senate; the Director General is traditionally former Foreign Service Officer. Starting on November 23, 1975 until October 2, 2016 under a departmental administrative action, the Director General concurrently held the title of Director of the Bureau of Human Resources; the two positions are now separate. As the head of the bureau, the Director General held a rank equivalent to an Assistant Secretary of State; the current Director General is William E. Todd, serving in an acting capacity. On September 15, 1789, the 1st United States Congress passed an Act creating the Department of State and appointing duties to it, including the keeping of the Great Seal of the United States. There were two services devoted to diplomatic and consular activity; the Diplomatic Service provided ambassadors and ministers to staff embassies overseas, while the Consular Service provided consuls to assist United States sailors and promote international trade and commerce.
Throughout the 19th century, ambassadors, or ministers, as they were known prior to the 1890s, consuls were appointed by the president, until 1856, earned no salary. Many had commercial ties to the countries in which they would serve, were expected to earn a living through private business or by collecting fees. In 1856, Congress provided a salary for consuls serving at certain posts. Lucile Atcherson Curtis was the first woman in what became the U. S. Foreign Service, she was the first woman appointed as a United States Diplomatic Officer or Consular Officer, in 1923. The Rogers Act of 1924 merged the diplomatic and consular services of the government into the Foreign Service. An difficult Foreign Service examination was implemented to recruit the most outstanding Americans, along with a merit-based system of promotions; the Rogers Act created the Board of the Foreign Service and the Board of Examiners of the Foreign Service, the former to advise the Secretary of State on managing the Foreign Service, the latter to manage the examination process.
In 1927 Congress passed legislation affording diplomatic status to representatives abroad of the Department of Commerce, creating the Foreign Commerce Service. In 1930 Congress passed similar legislation for the Department of Agriculture, creating the Foreign Agricultural Service. Though formally accorded diplomatic status, however and agricultural attachés were civil servants. In addition, the agricultural legislation stipulated that agricultural attachés would not be construed as public ministers. On July 1, 1939, both the commercial and agricultural attachés were transferred to the Department of State under Reorganization Plan No. II; the agricultural attachés remained in the Department of State until 1954, when they were returned by Act of Congress to the Department of Agriculture. Commercial attachés remained with State until 1980, when Reorganization Plan Number 3 of 1979 was implemented under terms of the Foreign Service Act of 1980. In 1946 Congress at the request of the Department of State passed a new Foreign Service Act creating six classes of employees: chiefs of mission, Foreign Service Officers, Foreign Service Reservists, Foreign Service Staff, "alien personnel", consular agents.
Officers were expected to spend the bulk of their careers abroad and were commissioned officers of the United States, available for worldwide service. Reserve officers spent the bulk of their careers in Washington but were available for overseas service. Foreign Service Staff personnel included support positions; the intent of this system was to remove the distinction between Foreign Service and civil service staff, a source of friction. The Foreign Service Act of 1946 repealed as redundant the 1927 and 1930 laws granting USDA and Commerce representatives abroad diplomatic status, since at that point agricultural and commercial attachés were appointed by the Department of State; the 1946 Act replaced the Board of Foreign Service Personnel, a body concerned with adminis
United States Agency for International Development
The United States Agency for International Development is an independent agency of the United States federal government, responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance. With a budget of over $27 billion, USAID is one of the largest official aid agencies in the world, accounts for more than half of all U. S. foreign assistance—the highest in the world in absolute dollar terms. Congress passed the Foreign Assistance Act on September 4, 1961, which reorganized U. S. foreign assistance programs and mandated the creation of an agency to administer economic aid. USAID was subsequently established by the executive order of President John F. Kennedy, who sought to unite several existing foreign assistance organizations and programs under one agency. USAID became the first U. S. foreign assistance organization whose primary focus was long-term socioeconomic development. USAID's programs are authorized by Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act, which Congress supplements through directions in annual funding appropriation acts and other legislation.
As an official component of U. S. foreign policy, USAID operates subject to the guidance of the President, Secretary of State, the National Security Council. USAID has missions in over 100 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe. USAID's mission statement, adopted in May 2013, is "to partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing the security and prosperity of the United States."USAID's decentralized network of resident field missions is drawn on to manage U. S. Government programs in low-income countries for a range of purposes. Disaster relief Poverty relief Technical cooperation on global issues, including the environment U. S. bilateral interests Socioeconomic development Some of the U. S. Government's earliest foreign aid programs provided relief in crises created by war. In 1915, USG assistance through the Commission for Relief of Belgium headed by Herbert Hoover prevented starvation in Belgium after the German invasion.
After 1945, the European Recovery Program championed by Secretary of State George Marshall helped rebuild war-torn Western Europe. USAID manages relief efforts after wars and natural disasters through its Office of U. S Foreign Disaster Assistance in Washington D. C. Funded U. S. NGOs and the U. S. military play major roles in disaster relief overseas. After 1945, many newly independent countries needed assistance to relieve the chronic deprivation afflicting their low-income populations. USAID and its predecessor agencies have continuously provided poverty relief in many forms, including assistance to public health and education services targeted at the poorest. USAID has helped manage food aid provided by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, USAID provides funding to NGOs to supplement private donations in relieving chronic poverty. Technical cooperation between nations is essential for addressing a range of cross-border concerns like communicable diseases, environmental issues and investment cooperation, safety standards for traded products, money laundering, so forth.
The USG has specialized agencies dealing with such areas, such as the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency. USAID's special ability to administer programs in low-income countries supports these and other USG agencies' international work on global concerns. Among these global interests, environmental issues attract high attention. USAID assists projects that conserve and protect threatened land, water and wildlife. USAID assists projects to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and to build resilience to the risks associated with global climate change. U. S. environmental regulation laws require that programs sponsored by USAID should be both economically and environmentally sustainable. To support U. S. geopolitical interests, Congress appropriates exceptional financial assistance to allies in the form of "Economic Support Funds". USAID is called on to administer the bulk of ESF and is instructed "To the maximum extent feasible, provide assistance... consistent with the policy directions and programs of."Also, when U.
S. troops are in the field, USAID can supplement the "Civil Affairs" programs that the U. S. military conducts to win the friendship of local populations. In these circumstances, USAID may be directed by specially appointed diplomatic officials of the State Department, as has been done in Afghanistan and Pakistan during operations against al-Qaeda. U. S. commercial interests are served by U. S. law's requirement that most goods and services financed by USAID must be sourced from U. S. vendors. USAID is sometimes called upon to support projects of U. S. constituents that have exceptional interest. To help low-income nations achieve self-sustaining socioeconomic development, USAID assists them in improving management of their own resources. USAID's assistance for socioeconomic development provides technical advice, scholarships and financial assistance. Through grants and contracts, USAID mobilizes the technical resources of the private sector, other USG agencies, NGOs to participate in this assistance.
Programs of the various types above reinforce one another. For example, the Foreign Assistance Act requires USAID to use funds appropriated for geopolitical purposes to support socioeconomic development to the maximum extent possible. USAID delivers financial assistance. Technical assistance includes technical advice, scholarships and commodities. Technical assistance is contrac
John Paul Vann
John Paul Vann was a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army retired, who became well known for his role in the Vietnam War. Vann was born John Paul Tripp in Norfolk, out of wedlock, to John Spry and Myrtle Lee Tripp. Vann's mother married Aaron Frank Vann, Vann took his stepfather's surname. In 1942, Aaron Vann adopted him; the Vann children grew up in near-poverty, through the patronage of a wealthy member of his church, Vann was able to attend boarding school at Ferrum College. He graduated from its high school in 1941, from its junior college program in 1943. With the onset of World War II, Vann sought to become an aviator/pilot. In 1943, at the age of 18, Vann enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, he underwent pilot training, transferred to navigation school, was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1945. However, the war ended. Vann married Mary Jane Allen of Rochester, New York in October 1945, at the age of 21, they had five children. When the Air Corps separated from the Army in 1947 to form its own branch, the United States Air Force, Vann chose to remain in the Army and transferred to the infantry.
He was assigned to Korea, Japan, as a logistics officer. When the Korean War began in June 1950, Vann coordinated the transportation of his 25th Infantry Division to Korea. Vann joined his unit, placed on the critical Pusan Perimeter until the amphibious Inchon landing relieved the beleaguered forces. In late 1950, in the wake of China's entrance into the war and the retreat of allied forces, now-Captain Vann was given his first command, a Ranger company, the Eighth Army Ranger Company, he led the unit on reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines for three months, before a serious illness in one of his children resulted in his transfer back to the United States. While assigned to Rutgers University's ROTC program as an assistant professor of military science and tactics, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1954. In 1954, Vann joined the 16th Infantry Regiment in Schweinfurt, becoming the head of the regiment's Heavy Mortar Company. A year he was promoted to major and transferred to Headquarters U.
S. Army Europe at Heidelberg, where he returned to logistics work. Vann returned to the U. S. to attend the Command and General Staff College in 1957. During this period, he earned a Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University in 1959 before completing all course requirements for a Doctor of Philosophy in public administration at the University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1961. Vann was voluntarily assigned to South Vietnam in 1962 as an adviser to Colonel Huỳnh Văn Cao, commander of the ARVN IV Corps. In the thick of the anti-guerrilla war against the Viet Cong, Vann became concerned with the way in which the war was being prosecuted, in particular the disastrous Battle of Ap Bac. Directing the battle from a spotter plane overhead, he earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his bravery in taking enemy fire, he attempted to draw public attention to the problems through press contacts such as New York Times reporter David Halberstam, directing much of his ire towards MACV commander General Paul D. Harkins.
Vann completed his Vietnam assignment in March 1963 and left the Army within a few months, having completed 20 years of service. Vann accepted a job in Denver, Colorado with defense contractor Martin Marietta and succeeded there for nearly two years but missed Vietnam and angled to return. Vann returned to Vietnam in March 1965 as an official of the Agency for International Development. After an assignment as province senior adviser, Vann was made Deputy for Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support in the Third Corps Tactical Zone of Vietnam, which consisted of the twelve provinces north and west of Saigon—the part of South Vietnam most important to the US. CORDS was an integrated group that consisted of USAID, U. S. Information Service, Central Intelligence Agency and State Department along with U. S. Army personnel to provide needed manpower. Among other undertakings, CORDS was responsible for the Phoenix Program, which involved neutralization of the Viet Cong infrastructure. Vann served as Deputy for Civil Operations and Rural Development Support CORDS III until November 1968 when he was assigned to the same position in IV Corps, which consisted of the provinces south of Saigon in the Mekong Delta.
Vann was respected by a large segment of officers and civilians who were involved in the broader political aspects of the war because he favored small units, aggressive patrolling over grandiose, large unit engagements. Unlike many US soldiers, he was respectful toward the ARVN soldiers notwithstanding their low morale and was committed to training and strengthening their morale and commitment, he encouraged his personnel to engage themselves in Vietnamese society as much as possible and he briefed that the Vietnam War must be envisaged as a long war at a lower level of engagement rather than a short war at a big-unit, high level of engagement. On one of his trips back to the U. S. in December 1967, Vann was asked by Walt Rostow, an advocate of more troops and Johnson administration National Security Advisor, whether the U. S. would be over the worst of the war in six months: "Oh hell no, Mr. Rostow", replied Vann, "I'm a born optimist. I think we can hold out longer than that." Vann's wit and iconoclasm did not endear him to many mil
Samuel Richard "Sandy" Berger was an American political consultant who served as the United States National Security Advisor for President Bill Clinton from March 14, 1997, until January 20, 2001. Before that he served as the Deputy National Security Advisor for the Clinton Administration from January 20, 1993, until March 14, 1997. In 2005, he was sentenced to serve two years of probation plus community service, he gave up his license to practice law. Berger was born to a Jewish family in New York, where his parents ran an Army-Navy store, he graduated from Webutuck High School in 1963, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Cornell University in 1967, his earned Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1971. At Cornell, Berger was a member of the Quill and Dagger society with Paul Wolfowitz and Stephen Hadley. Opposed to the Vietnam War, Berger began working for Senator George McGovern's presidential campaign in 1972. While there, he met Bill Clinton. Berger urged Clinton to run for President of the United States.
After the McGovern campaign, Berger gained experience working in a variety of government posts, including serving as Special Assistant to Mayor of New York City John Lindsay and Legislative Assistant to U. S. Senator Harold Hughes of Iowa and Congressman Joseph Resnick of New York, he was Deputy Director of Policy Planning for the U. S. Department of State from 1977 to 1980 under Secretary of State Cyrus Vance during the Carter administration. After leaving the State Department, Berger went on to join the law firm Hogan & Hartson where he helped expand the firm's international law practice; as a partner, he opened the firm's first two international offices, in Brussels. "Sandy Berger", Nancy Pelosi said in 1997, "was the point-man at... Hogan & Hartson... for the trade office of the Chinese government. He was a lawyer-lobbyist." Berger served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Governor Clinton during the campaign, as Assistant Transition Director for National Security of the 1992 Clinton-Gore Transition.
Berger served eight years on the National Security Council staff, first from 1993 - 1997 as deputy national security advisor, under Anthony Lake, whom Berger had recommended for the role, succeeding Lake as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from 1997 to 2001. Berger was a central figure in formulating the foreign policy of the Clinton Administration, played an integral role advancing the administration's self-described objectives of advancing "democracy, shared prosperity, peace." In President Clinton's words, "Nobody was more knowledgeable about policy or smarter about how to formulate it. He was both great in figuring out what to do about it, his gifts proved invaluable time and time again, in Latin America, the Balkans, Northern Ireland, the Middle East."Key achievements during Berger's NSC tenure included the 1995 peso recovery package in Mexico, NATO enlargement, Operation Desert Fox, the Dayton Accords that ended the killing in Bosnia, the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia that stopped the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, the Good Friday Agreement that helped bring about peace in Northern Ireland, the administration's policy of engagement with the People's Republic of China.
In a March 2005 oral history interview at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, Berger noted, "I think during the'90s we took China from outside the international system and brought it inside the international system through trade, economics, otherwise."On July 4, 1999, in what South Asia expert Bruce Reidel called Berger's "finest hour," Berger advised President Clinton through a pivotal negotiation with Pakistan's prime minister Nawaz Sharif to pull that country's troops back from Kashmir, averting a cataclysmic nuclear war with India. Berger advised the President regarding the Khobar Towers bombing and responses to the terrorist bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In the final years of the Clinton administration, combating terrorism was the paramount foreign policy priority. In November 1997, Berger paid a $23,000 civil penalty to settle conflict of interest allegations stemming from his failure to sell his stock of Amoco Corporation as ordered by the White House.
Berger was advised by the White House to sell the stock in early 1994. He said he had planned to sell the stock, but forgot, he denied knowingly participating in decisions. With no evidence that Berger intended to break the law, the United States Department of Justice determined a civil penalty was adequate for a "non-willful violation" of the conflict of interest law. In 1999, Berger was criticized for failing to promptly inform President Clinton of his knowledge that the People's Republic of China had managed to acquire the designs of a number of U. S. nuclear warheads. Berger was briefed of the espionage by the Department of Energy in April 1996, but did not inform the president until July 1997. A number of Republicans, including presidential hopeful Lamar Alexander, called for Berger's resignation, they accused him of ignoring the allegations of Chinese espionage. "For his unwillingness to act on this serious matter, Mr. Berger should resign", Alexander said. "If he does not, he should be relieved of his duties by President Clinton."
President Clinton rejected the calls: "The record is that we acted aggressively," Clinton said. "Mr