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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Principal Officers of the Department and U.S. Chiefs of Mission > Principal Officers

Secretaries of State, 1789-2005

 

Creation of this Position

Name: Thomas Jefferson
State of Residency: Virginia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Sep 26, 1789
Entry on Duty: Mar 22, 1790
Termination of Appointment: Dec 31, 1793

Name: Edmund Randolph
State of Residency: Virginia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 2, 1794
Entry on Duty: Jan 2, 1794
Termination of Appointment: Aug 20, 1795

Name: Timothy Pickering
State of Residency: Pennsylvania
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Dec 10, 1795
Entry on Duty: Dec 10, 1795
Termination of Appointment: May 12, 1800

Name: John Marshall
State of Residency: Virginia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: May 13, 1800
Entry on Duty: Jun 6, 1800
Termination of Appointment: Feb 4, 1801

Name: James Madison
State of Residency: Virginia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1801
Entry on Duty: May 2, 1801
Termination of Appointment: Mar 3, 1809

Name: Robert Smith
State of Residency: Maryland
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 6, 1809
Entry on Duty: Mar 6, 1809
Termination of Appointment: Apr 1, 1811

Name: James Monroe
State of Residency: Virginia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Apr 2, 1811
Entry on Duty: Apr 6, 1811
Termination of Appointment: Sep 30, 1814
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Nov 26, 1811.

Name: James Monroe
State of Residency: Virginia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Feb 28, 1815
Entry on Duty: Feb 28, 1815
Termination of Appointment: Mar 3, 1817

Name: John Quincy Adams
State of Residency: Massachusetts
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1817
Entry on Duty: Sep 22, 1817
Termination of Appointment: Mar 3, 1825

Name: Henry Clay
State of Residency: Kentucky
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 7, 1825
Entry on Duty: Mar 7, 1825
Termination of Appointment: Mar 3, 1829

Name: Martin Van Buren
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 6, 1829
Entry on Duty: Mar 28, 1829
Termination of Appointment: Mar 23, 1831

Name: Edward Livingston
State of Residency: Louisiana
Non-career appointee
Appointment: May 24, 1831
Entry on Duty: May 24, 1831
Termination of Appointment: May 29, 1833
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 12, 1832.

Name: Louis McLane
State of Residency: Delaware
Non-career appointee
Appointment: May 29, 1833
Entry on Duty: May 29, 1833
Termination of Appointment: Jun 30, 1834
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate.

Name: John Forsyth
State of Residency: Georgia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jun 27, 1834
Entry on Duty: Jul 1, 1834
Termination of Appointment: Mar 3, 1841

Name: Daniel Webster
State of Residency: Massachusetts
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1841
Entry on Duty: Mar 6, 1841
Termination of Appointment: May 8, 1843

Name: Abel P. Upshur
State of Residency: Virginia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jul 24, 1843
Entry on Duty: Jul 24, 1843
Termination of Appointment: Feb 28, 1844
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 2, 1844.

Name: John C. Calhoun
State of Residency: South Carolina
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 6, 1844
Entry on Duty: Apr 1, 1844
Termination of Appointment: Mar 10, 1845

Name: James Buchanan
State of Residency: Pennsylvania
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 6, 1845
Entry on Duty: Mar 10, 1845
Termination of Appointment: Mar 7, 1849

Name: John M. Clayton
State of Residency: Delaware
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 7, 1849
Entry on Duty: Mar 8, 1849
Termination of Appointment: Jul 22, 1850

Name: Daniel Webster
State of Residency: Massachusetts
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jul 22, 1850
Entry on Duty: Jul 23, 1850
Termination of Appointment: Oct 24, 1852

Name: Edward Everett
State of Residency: Massachusetts
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Nov 6, 1852
Entry on Duty: Nov 6, 1852
Termination of Appointment: Mar 3, 1853
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 9, 1852.

Name: William L. Marcy
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 7, 1853
Entry on Duty: Mar 8, 1853
Termination of Appointment: Mar 6, 1857

Name: Lewis Cass
State of Residency: Michigan
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 6, 1857
Entry on Duty: Mar 6, 1857
Termination of Appointment: Dec 14, 1860

Name: Jeremiah S. Black
State of Residency: Pennsylvania
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Dec 17, 1860
Entry on Duty: Dec 17, 1860
Termination of Appointment: Mar 5, 1861

Name: William H. Seward
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1861
Entry on Duty: Mar 6, 1861
Termination of Appointment: Mar 4, 1869

Name: Elihu B. Washburne
State of Residency: Illinois
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1869
Entry on Duty: Mar 5, 1869
Termination of Appointment: Mar 16, 1869

Name: Hamilton Fish
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 11, 1869 /7/
Entry on Duty: Mar 17, 1869
Termination of Appointment: Mar 12, 1877

Name: William M. Evarts
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 12, 1877
Entry on Duty: Mar 12, 1877
Termination of Appointment: Mar 7, 1881

Name: James G. Blaine
State of Residency: Maine
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1881
Entry on Duty: Mar 7, 1881
Termination of Appointment: Dec 19, 1881

Name: Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
State of Residency: New Jersey
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Feb 12, 1881
Entry on Duty: Dec 19, 1881
Termination of Appointment: Mar 6, 1885

Name: Thomas F. Bayard
State of Residency: Delaware
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 6, 1885
Entry on Duty: Mar 7, 1885
Termination of Appointment: Mar 6, 1889

Name: James G. Blaine
State of Residency: Maine
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1889
Entry on Duty: Mar 7, 1889
Termination of Appointment: Jun 4, 1892

Name: John W. Foster
State of Residency: Indiana
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jun 29, 1892
Entry on Duty: Jun 29, 1892
Termination of Appointment: Feb 23, 1893

Name: Walter Q. Gresham
State of Residency: Illinois
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 6, 1893
Entry on Duty: Mar 7, 1893
Termination of Appointment: May 28, 1895

Name: Richard Olney
State of Residency: Massachusetts
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jun 8, 1895
Entry on Duty: Jun 10, 1895
Termination of Appointment: Mar 5, 1897
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 3, 1895.

Name: John Sherman
State of Residency: Ohio
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1897
Entry on Duty: Mar 6, 1897
Termination of Appointment: Apr 27, 1898

Name: William R. Day
State of Residency: Ohio
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Apr 26, 1898
Entry on Duty: Apr 28, 1898
Termination of Appointment: Sep 16, 1898

Name: John Hay
State of Residency: District of Columbia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Sep 20, 1898
Entry on Duty: Sep 30, 1898
Termination of Appointment: Jul 1, 1905
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after
confirmation on Dec 7, 1898. Reappointed Mar 5, 1901.

Name: Elihu Root
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jul 7, 1905
Entry on Duty: Jul 19, 1905
Termination of Appointment: Jan 27, 1909
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after
confirmation on Dec 6, 1905.

Name: Robert Bacon
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 27, 1909
Entry on Duty: Jan 27, 1909
Termination of Appointment: Mar 5, 1909

Name: Philander C. Knox
State of Residency: Pennsylvania
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1909
Entry on Duty: Mar 6, 1909
Termination of Appointment: Mar 5, 1913

Name: William Jennings Bryan
State of Residency: Nebraska
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1913
Entry on Duty: Mar 5, 1913
Termination of Appointment: Jun 9, 1915

Name: Robert Lansing
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jun 23, 1915
Entry on Duty: Jun 24, 1915
Termination of Appointment: Feb 13, 1920
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 13, 1915.

Name: Bainbridge Colby
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 22, 1920
Entry on Duty: Mar 23, 1920
Termination of Appointment: Mar 4, 1921

Name: Charles Evans Hughes
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 4, 1921
Entry on Duty: Mar 5, 1921
Termination of Appointment: Mar 4, 1925

Name: Frank B. Kellogg
State of Residency: Minnesota
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Feb 16, 1925
Entry on Duty: Mar 5, 1925
Termination of Appointment: Mar 28, 1929

Name: Henry Lewis Stimson
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 5, 1929
Entry on Duty: Mar 28, 1929
Termination of Appointment: Mar 4, 1933

Name: Cordell Hull
State of Residency: Tennessee
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Mar 4, 1933
Entry on Duty: Mar 4, 1933
Termination of Appointment: Nov 30, 1944

Name: Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.
State of Residency: Virginia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Nov 30, 1944
Entry on Duty: Dec 1, 1944
Termination of Appointment: Jun 27, 1945

Name: James F. Byrnes
State of Residency: South Carolina
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jul 2, 1945
Entry on Duty: Jul 3, 1945
Termination of Appointment: Jan 21, 1947

Name: George C. Marshall
State of Residency: Pennsylvania
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 8, 1947
Entry on Duty: Jan 21, 1947
Termination of Appointment: Jan 20, 1949

Name: Dean G. Acheson
State of Residency: Maryland
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 19, 1949
Entry on Duty: Jan 21, 1949
Termination of Appointment: Jan 20, 1953

Name: John Foster Dulles
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 21, 1953
Entry on Duty: Jan 21, 1953
Termination of Appointment: Apr 22, 1959

Name: Christian A. Herter
State of Residency: Massachusetts
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Apr 21, 1959
Entry on Duty: Apr 22, 1959
Termination of Appointment: Jan 20, 1961

Name: Dean Rusk
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 21, 1961
Entry on Duty: Jan 21, 1961
Termination of Appointment: Jan 20, 1969

Name: William P. Rogers
State of Residency: Maryland
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 21, 1969
Entry on Duty: Jan 22, 1969
Termination of Appointment: Sep 3, 1973

Name: Henry A. Kissinger
State of Residency: District of Columbia
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Sep 21, 1973
Entry on Duty: Sep 22, 1973
Termination of Appointment: Jan 20, 1977
Note: Served concurrently as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs until Nov 3, 1975.

Name: Cyrus Vance
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 21, 1977
Entry on Duty: Jan 23, 1977
Termination of Appointment: Apr 28, 1980

Name: Edmund Sixtus Muskie
State of Residency: Maine
Non-career appointee
Appointment: May 8, 1980
Entry on Duty: May 8, 1980
Termination of Appointment: Jan 18, 1981

Name: Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr.
State of Residency: Connecticut
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 22, 1981
Entry on Duty: Jan 22, 1981
Termination of Appointment: Jul 5, 1982

Name: George P. Shultz
State of Residency: California
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jul 16, 1982
Entry on Duty: Jul 16, 1982
Termination of Appointment: Jan 20, 1989

Name: James Addison Baker, III
State of Residency: Texas
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 25, 1989
Entry on Duty: Jan 25, 1989
Termination of Appointment: Aug 23, 1992

Name: Lawrence S. Eagleburger
State of Residency: Florida
Foreign Service officer
Appointment: Dec 8, 1992
Entry on Duty: Dec 8, 1992
Termination of Appointment: Jan 19, 1993
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate. Served as Acting Secretary of State, Aug 23-Dec 8, 1992.

Name: Warren M. Christopher
State of Residency: California
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jan 20, 1993
Entry on Duty: Jan 20, 1993
Termination of Appointment: January 17, 1997

Name: Madeleine Korbel Albright
State of Residency: District of Columbia
Non-career appointment
Appointment: January 17, 1997
Entry on Duty: January 23, 1997
Termination of Appointment:  January 19, 2001

Name: Colin L. Powell
State of Residency: Virginia
Non-career appointment
Appointment: January 20, 2001
Entry on Duty: January 20, 2001
Termination of Appointment: January 25, 2005

Name: Condoleezza Rice
State of Residency: California
Non-career appointment
Appointment: January 25, 2005
Entry on Duty: January 26, 2005
Termination of Appointment:  

 


Creation of Position: Congress created the position of Secretary of State on Jul 27, 1789 (1 Stat. 28), as the principal officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs (later renamed Department of State). The Secretary was to perform such duties as the President required, in accordance with the Constitution, relating to correspondence, commission, or instructions to U.S. ministers or consuls abroad, and to conduct negotiations with foreign representatives. The Secretary has also served as principal adviser to the President in the determination and execution of U.S. foreign policy and in recent decades has become responsible for overall direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities of the U.S. Government overseas, except for certain military activities. The Act of Congress of Sep 5, 1789, that changed the name of the Department of Foreign Affairs assigned various domestic duties to the Department of State. Nearly all were later reassigned to other agencies. This list does not include individuals designated to act as Secretaries of State when the Secretaryship was vacant. These individuals are usually referred to collectively as Secretaries of State ad interim.

[End.]


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