Assistant Secretaries of State

On Mar 3, 1853, Congress, in a Federal appropriations act (10 Stat. 212), authorized the President to appoint an Assistant Secretary of State, whose duties would be as prescribed by the Secretary of State or as required by law. The Assistant Secretary of State superseded the Chief Clerk as the second-ranking officer of the Department. The Counselor replaced the Assistant Secretary as the second-ranking officer in 1913. Specific duties of the incumbents varied over the years and included such responsibilities as supervising the Diplomatic and Consular Bureaus, general supervision of correspondence, consular appointments, administration of the Department, and supervision of economic matters and various geographic divisions.