As the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency, the U.S. Department of State represents the United States at more than 270 diplomatic locations around the world, including embassies, consulates, and missions to international organizations.
The Secretary of State, the ranking member of the Cabinet and fourth in line of presidential succession, is the President's principal advisor on foreign policy and the person chiefly responsible for representing the United States abroad. The primary goal of the Secretary of State and the U.S. Department of State is to shape a freer, more secure, and more prosperous world through formulating and implementing the President's foreign policy, while supporting and protecting American interests abroad.
The Department is responsible for promoting peace and stability in areas of vital interest to America, and helping developing nations establish stable economic environments. It is a source of support for American businesses abroad, working to achieve fair business practices in commerce, trade, manufacturing and other interests—while also identifying viable opportunities for American businesses.
The U.S. Department of State provides information and services for U.S. citizens traveling abroad, including passport issuance, and it issues visas to foreigners who wish to visit the United States. The Department is responsible for selecting and hiring employees who accomplish America's mission of diplomacy at home and around the world, including Foreign Service Officers (Generalists), Foreign Service Specialists and Civil Service professionals. For those pursuing university degrees and professionals who are interested in an executive development program in public service, the Department offers a number of programs, including internships and fellowships.