Assistant Secretaries of State for Near Eastern Affairs

The Department of State established the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs on Oct 3, 1949, after the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government (Hoover Commission) recommended that certain offices be upgraded to bureau level and after Congress increased the number of Assistant Secretaries of State from six to ten (May 26, 1949; P.L. 81-73; 63 Stat. 111). The Department of State established a Division of Near Eastern Affairs in 1909, which dealt with Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe as well as with the Middle East. The final remnant of this practice ended on Apr 18, 1974, when the Department transferred responsibility for Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus to the Bureau of European Affairs. The Division of Near Eastern Affairs included Egypt and Abyssinia (Ethiopia) from its inception, and acquired responsibility for the rest of Africa (except Algeria and the Union of South Africa) in 1937. Relations with African nations became the responsibility of a new Bureau of African Affairs on Aug 20, 1958, but relations with North African nations reverted to the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs on Apr 22, 1974. The Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (105 Stat. 658) authorized the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs on Oct 28, 1991. The Bureau of South Asian Affairs was established Aug 24, 1992.