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Assistant Secretaries of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs

The Department of State created the position of Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs during the general reorganization of Dec 20, 1944, after Congress had authorized an increase in the number of Assistant Secretaries of State from four to six (Dec 8, 1944; P.L. 78-472; 58 Stat. 798). This reorganization was the first to assign substantive designations to specific Assistant Secretary positions. The position was temporarily discontinued between Jun 1947 and Jun 1949, when American Republic Affairs were handled by an Assistant Secretary for Political Affairs. The Department re-established the position in Jun 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). On Oct 3, 1949, the Department by administrative action changed the incumbent’s designation to Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs. On January 12, 1999, the Bureau assumed responsibility for Canada and was renamed the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. The Department of State had first established a Division of Latin American Affairs in 1909.