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United States Secretary of State

Head of the United States Department of State / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The United States secretary of state (SecState)[5] 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.

Quick facts: United States Secretary of State, Style, Memb...
United States Secretary of State
Seal of the secretary of state
Flag of the secretary of state
Antony Blinken
since January 26, 2021
United States Department of State
StyleMr. Secretary (informal)
The Honorable[1] (formal)
His Excellency[2] (diplomatic)
Member ofCabinet
National Security Council
Reports toPresident of the United States
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerPresident of the United States
with Senate advice and consent
Constituting instrument22 U.S.C. § 2651
PrecursorSecretary of Foreign Affairs
FormationJuly 27, 1789; 234 years ago (1789-07-27)
First holderThomas Jefferson
DeputyDeputy Secretary of State
SalaryExecutive Schedule, Level I[4]

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.[6][7] 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.[8]

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).[9][4] The current secretary of state is Antony Blinken, who was confirmed on January 26, 2021, by the Senate by a vote of 78–22.[10]

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