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The United States secretary of state (SecState) is a member of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States and the head of the U.S. Department of State. The office holder is the third-highest-ranking member of the president's Cabinet, after the President and Vice President, and ranks fourth in the United States presidential line of succession; first amongst cabinet secretaries.
|United States Secretary of State|
|United States Department of State|
|Style||Mr. Secretary (informal)|
The Honorable (formal)
His Excellency (diplomatic)
National Security Council
|Reports to||President of the United States|
|Appointer||President of the United States|
with Senate advice and consent
|Constituting instrument||22 U.S.C. § 2651|
|Precursor||Secretary of Foreign Affairs|
|Formation||July 27, 1789; 234 years ago (1789-07-27)|
|First holder||Thomas Jefferson|
|Deputy||Deputy Secretary of State|
|Salary||Executive Schedule, Level I|
Created in 1789 with Thomas Jefferson as its first office holder, the secretary of state represents the United States to foreign countries, and is therefore considered analogous to a minister of foreign affairs in other countries. The secretary of state is nominated by the president of the United States and, following a confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, is confirmed by the United States Senate. The secretary of state, along with the secretary of the treasury, secretary of defense, and attorney general, are generally regarded as the four most crucial Cabinet members because of the importance of their respective departments.
Secretary of State is a Level I position in the Executive Schedule and thus earns the salary prescribed for that level (US$221,400, as of January 2021). The current secretary of state is Antony Blinken, who was confirmed on January 26, 2021, by the Senate by a vote of 78–22.
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