Under Secretaries of State

Congress provided for the position of Under Secretary of State in a general government appropriations act adopted on Mar 1, 1919 (40 Stat. 1224). The Under Secretary subsumed the duties of the Department's Counselor, who had served as the second ranking officer in the Department since 1913.

The Under Secretary functioned as the principal deputy and chief assistant to the Secretary of State, served as Acting Secretary of State in the Secretary's absence, and provided guidance and direction to the activities of the Department. Prior to 1944, a number of offices in the Department reported directly to the Under Secretary. In Jul 1972, the position of Deputy Secretary superseded that of Under Secretary of State.