1950–1959

January 4, 1950

Secretary of State Acheson announced the appointment of a three-member Advisory Committee on Personnel and Organizational Matters. James H. Rowe, a former member of the Hoover Commission, was the chairman.

January 16, 1950

The Bureau of Inter-American Affairs was reorganized into four Offices: Middle-American Affairs, East Coast Affairs, North and West Coast Affairs, and Regional American Affairs.

January 25, 1950

Four geographic branches were organized in the Division of Biographic Information.

January 27, 1950

Executive Order 10099 delegated authority over administration of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949 to the Secretary of State.

February 20, 1950

The Department of State announced that it no longer recognized the United Public Workers of America as a representative of its employees.

An Interim Office for Technical Cooperation and Development was established under the Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs to direct planning for the Point Four technical assistance program.

March 13, 1950

President Truman submitted a reorganization plan (No. 20 out of a set of 21) to Congress that transferred most of the Department of State’s remaining domestic record-keeping duties to the National Archives and Records Service and the General Services Administration. These included: receipt and preservation of original copies of Acts of Congress, publication of Acts of Congress and the Statutes at Large, certification and publication of constitutional amendments, certification of the appointments and the votes of presidential electors, and the collection, editing, and publication of Territorial Papers. The plan took effect on May 24.

April 19, 1950

The Presidential Appointments and Authentications Section was transferred from the Division of Protocol to the Office of Personnel.

July 20, 1950

A Senate subcommittee chaired by Sen. Millard F. Tydings issued a report denying Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s charges of Communist infiltration of the Department of State. The subcommittee’s recommendations included: appointing a commission to study federal loyalty and security programs, appointing a joint Congressional committee to study the immunity of members of Congress from lawsuits relating to statements they make, urging restraint in conducting public hearings on loyalty questions, providing immunity to witnesses appearing before Congressional committees, suggesting that the Department of State publicize its security program, and that it study recommendations to replace alien employees with American citizens.

July 30, 1950

The Advisory Committee on Personnel (Rowe Committee) submitted its report to Secretary of State Dean Acheson. It recommended a single personnel system for the Department and the Foreign Service that would comprise an officer corps of specialists and generalists and a clerical and technical group supplying support services.

August 23, 1950

The Department’s Office of Management and Budget was replaced by an Office of Budget and Finance. The Division of Organization was abolished and replaced by a Management Staff in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Administration.

August 26, 1950

An Act of Congress (64 Stat. 476) allowed certain agency heads (including the Secretary of State) to suspend employees whenever national security needs required it. Accused employees could appeal their cases to the Loyalty Review Board of the Civil Service Commission.

The Department of State’s regulations placed the Office of Security in charge of field investigations of employees; a full FBI investigation would follow if evidence of questionable conduct was found. Security Hearing Boards were established to review cases, with the Secretary having the final authority over them.

September 1, 1950

The Bureau of Inter-American Affairs combined its Office of East Coast and North and West Coast Affairs into an office of South American Affairs.

October 12, 1950

Executive Order 10171 gave the Department of State responsibility for the administration of the U.S. occupation zone in Austria.

October 27, 1950

The Department of State established the Technical Cooperation Administration to administer the Point Four programs authorized under Title Four of the Foreign Economic Assistance Act of June 5, 1950 (64 Stat. 207). Executive Order 10159 of September 9, 1950, assigned responsibility for these programs to the Department of State. The TCA was replaced by the Foreign Operations Administration in 1953.

December 19, 1950

A Division of Research for USSR and Eastern Europe was established in the Office of Intelligence Research. The Division of Research for Europe then became the Division of Research for Western Europe.

January 8, 1951

A Director of International Security Affairs replaced the Director of Mutual Defense Assistance as the Department of State’s principal officer in charge of foreign military assistance programs.

January 29, 1951

The Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs was made responsible for the Department of State’s coordination of country and commodity requirements under the Defense Production Act of 1950.

February 6, 1951

Dr. Joseph B. Koepfli was appointed as Science Adviser. He served until 1955. The Office of the Science Adviser, under the direction of the Under Secretary of State, replaced the Office of the Consultant to the Secretary on International Science Matters.

February 15, 1951

A memorandum of understanding, known as the “Clay Paper,” between the Departments of State, Defense, and the Economic Cooperation Administration instituted the concept of the “Country Team,” which was headed by the Ambassador and coordinated these agencies’ activities in a given country.

March 9, 1951

A reorganization of the Office of Intelligence and Research divided the Division of Research for Europe into the Division of Research for Western Europe, and the Division of Research for USSR and Eastern Europe. The Division of Research for Near East and Africa became “Near East, South Asia, and Africa.” The Division of Acquisition and Distribution was divided into four Branches: CIA Liaison, Military Liaison, Civilian Agencies, and the Internal Branch.

April 5, 1951

President Truman wrote to Secretary of State Acheson that U.S. Ambassadors were to be responsible for coordinating official activities in their country of assignment.

April 10, 1951

The Bureau of Economic Affairs was reorganized, with the Office of International Trade Policy being replaced by the Offices of International Materials Policy and Economic Defense and Trade Policy. Both were meant to monitor the flow of strategic materials and to limit their acquisition by Communist countries.

April 16, 1951

After reviewing the report of the Advisory Committee on Personnel, Secretary of State Dean Acheson issued a directive called the “Personnel Improvement Plan.” It called for identification of dual service positions in the Department, facilitation of lateral entry of Department personnel into the Foreign Service for three years, and more use of an existing “exchange” program. The Department’s position was that integration of personnel systems would depend on common conditions of employment and should be voluntary.

May 2, 1951

The Department of State announced a three-year program to allow for lateral entry to the middle and upper grades of the Foreign Service by members of the Department, the Foreign Service Staff Corps, and the Foreign Service Reserve. There would also be an intensified recruiting program among the nation’s colleges and universities.

July 13, 1951

The Division of Overseas Information Centers was established in the office of Educational Exchange, replacing the Division of Libraries and Institutes.

July 17, 1951

The Department of State appointed five scientists to serve as its first science attachés: two in London, two in Stockholm, and one in Bern.

July 31, 1951

The Division of Research for American Republics in the Office of Intelligence and Research was divided into three Branches: Middle America, South America, and Functional Analysis.

September 28, 1951

The Division of International and Functional Intelligence in the Office of Intelligence and Research became the Division of Functional Intelligence. It was divided into seven staffs, primarily concerned with economic matters.

October 10, 1951

The Mutual Security Act (65 Stat. 378) established the Mutual Security Agency, which superseded the Economic Cooperation Agency on December 30, 1951. The Mutual Security Agency was responsible for the development and administration of military assistance as well as economic assistance programs other than those administered by the Technical Cooperation Administration. The Director was appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. In 1953 the Mutual Security Agency was abolished and its functions transferred to the Foreign Operations Administration.

January 16, 1952

The Department of State established the International Information Administration to conduct international information and educational exchange activities formerly conducted by the Bureau of Public Affairs.

April 4, 1952

Executive Order 10338 gave the chiefs of U.S. diplomatic missions the authority to coordinate the activities of all U.S. agencies in their country of assignment under the Mutual Security Act.

June 19, 1952

An Act of Congress (66 Stat. 140) authorized the expenditure of $90 million in foreign currencies for the Foreign Service buildings program.

June 27, 1952

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (66 Stat. 174) authorized a Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs, headed by an Administrator with rank equivalent to an Assistant Secretary of State. The Bureau included the Office of Security as well as an Office of Controls that comprised the Passport and Visa Offices. The new Bureau was established February 25, 1953.

October 13, 1952

In the Office of Intelligence and Research, the Division of Research for Western Europe was reorganized along regional lines paralleling the Bureau of European Affairs. It now comprised a Regional Economic Staff and five geographic Branches. The Division of Research for USSR and Eastern Europe was divided into four Branches: Soviet Internal, Soviet Foreign, Eastern European, and Social Research.

February 6, 1953

In the Office of Intelligence and Research, the Division of Acquisition and Distribution now comprised three Branches (CIA Liaison, Military Liaison, and Foreign Publications) and a Requirements Staff. The Division of Biographic Information was divided into seven geographical branches.

February 7, 1953

An Act of Congress (67 Stat. 4) established the position of Under Secretary of State for Administration. The new Under Secretary became the third-ranking officer in the Department, but the position was only authorized until December 31, 1954, and was allowed to lapse after two years. Officers reporting to the Under Secretary for Administration were: The Technical Cooperation Administrator, the International Information Administrator, the Legal Adviser, the Assistant Secretaries for Congressional Relations and Public Affairs, the Special Assistant for Intelligence, and the Science Adviser.

April 24, 1953

The Management Staff was abolished and its functions and personnel were divided among the Office of Operating Facilities, the Office of Budget and Finance, and the Division of Foreign Reporting.

April 27, 1953

President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued Executive Order 10450 on security requirements for federal employees, which replaced E.O. 9835 of March 21, 1947. Heads of federal agencies were responsible for establishing and maintaining security programs. When the Department of State implemented E.O. 10450, it placed the Office of Security in charge of investigating employees; the FBI would conduct further investigations if there were indications of questionable conduct. Security Hearing Boards were established to review cases, and their findings would be reviewed by the Secretary of State.

June 1, 1953

Executive Order 10458 transferred to the Director for Mutual Security responsibility for operations of the Technical Cooperation Administration and for various UN assistance programs in which the United States participated.

June 23, 1953

The office of Special Assistant for Press Relations was abolished and its functions transferred to the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. A News Division was established under the jurisdiction of the Assistant Secretary. The Special Assistant became Director of the News Division.

July 1, 1953

The Division of Publications was transferred from the Office of Public Affairs to the Office of Operating Facilities.

July 13, 1953

The Department of State hired Robert Heller and Associates to study the effectiveness of its management procedures.

July 17, 1953

The Department temporarily revised its selection-out regulations in order to eliminate 52 Foreign Service positions by the end of the year.

August 1, 1953

Reorganization Plan No. 7 (67 Stat. 641) abolished the Technical Cooperation Administration and the Mutual Security Agency and transferred their functions to the Foreign Operations Administration. The Director was appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate.

The Plan also abolished the offices of the Special Representative and the Deputy Special Representative in Europe and replaced them with a U.S. Mission to NATO and European regional organizations.

Reorganization Plan No. 8 (67 Stat. 642) established the U.S. Information Agency to disseminate abroad information about the United States, its people, culture, and policy. Its Director was appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Executive Order 10476 made chiefs of mission responsible for providing foreign policy direction to U.S. Government personnel stationed in their country of responsibility, and gave them authority to coordinate their activities.

August 6, 1953

President Eisenhower called on Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to make additional budget cuts in Fiscal Years 1954 and 1955, and to review operations for waste, inefficiency, duplication of effort, and excessive costs.

September 21, 1953

The Department of State amended its security regulations to provide for the recording of security violations in personnel files, and for disciplinary actions ranging from letters of reprimand to suspension without pay or dismissal.

October 6, 1953

The Bureau of Public Affairs became the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. Its Divisions of Public Liaison and Historical Policy Research, and the Special Program and Writing Staff were replaced by the Public Services and Historical Divisions. The Public Studies and News Divisions were retained.

November 2, 1953

The Bureau of German Affairs was abolished and its functions transferred to the Bureau of European Affairs.

November 27, 1953

Delegation of Authority No. 74 assigned the Department’s responsibilities under the Refugee Relief Act of 1953 (67 Stat. 400) to the Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs.

In the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Geographic Adviser was transferred from the Office of Intelligence Research to the Office of Libraries and Intelligence Acquisition. The Division of Library and Reference Services became the Library Division of the Department. The Foreign Publications Branch of the Division of Acquisition and Distribution was abolished and its functions transferred to the Technical Services Branch of the Library Division.

December 1, 1953

The Shipping Policy and Inland Transport Policy Staffs were abolished and their functions transferred to the Office of the Director of Transport and Communications Policy.

January 14, 1954

The Department of State established an Architectural Advisory Board to review building designs for U.S. diplomatic missions. The Board comprised three architects serving for two-year terms.

January 25, 1954

Under Secretary for Management Donold B. Lourie reached an agreement with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee concerning security clearance procedures and Foreign Service promotions and appointments. The Department of State would do full field investigations on all Foreign Service appointments below the rank of Career Minister before they were submitted to the Senate for confirmation.

In order to eliminate a backlog in security investigations that might delay promotions, lateral appointments, or commissions and title changes requiring Senate confirmation, the Department later borrowed 100 investigators from the Civil Service Commission until June 30.

February 6, 1954

A Department policy statement said that “positions dealing with substantive policy,” desk officers and above in the regional bureaus and in the UN area, were to be filled by Foreign Service officers.

March 1, 1954

The Bureau of Security, Consular Affairs, and Personnel was renamed the Bureau of Inspection, Security, and Consular Affairs. Personnel functions were transferred to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, which became the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Personnel Administration. The Foreign Service Inspection Corps was transferred to the new bureau on April 5.

March 5, 1954

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles convened a Public Committee on Personnel, chaired by Henry M. Wriston, to devise a unified personnel system for the Department of State and the Foreign Service.

March 26, 1954

The Assistant Secretary of State for Administration was designated “Assistant Secretary of State for Personnel and Administration.” The new title remained in effect until August 9, 1955.

Executive Order 10522 authorized the Director of the U.S. Information Agency to supervise Foreign Service personnel assigned to the Agency.

April 6, 1954

The Office of the Science Adviser was transferred from the Office of the Under Secretary for Administration to the Office of the Under Secretary.

April 15, 1954

The Office of International Administration and Conferences in the Bureau of United Nations Affairs was subdivided into the Office of International Administration and the Office of International Conferences.

April 22, 1954

The Divisions of Investigations, Evaluations, and Physical Security were formed in the Office of Security.

May 1, 1954

The Office of Operating Facilities was abolished. The Division of Communications and Records became an Office. The Divisions of Central Services, Publications, and Language Services became part of a new Office of General Services. The Division of Cryptography and the Regulations and Procedures Staff became part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Personnel and Administration.

May 10, 1954

A Special Projects Staff was established in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Personnel.

The Labor Advisory Staff of the Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs was abolished and its duties were transferred to the Deputy Under Secretary.

May 18, 1954

The Wriston Committee released its report on the Foreign Service personnel system. It recommended unification of the Department and Foreign Service personnel systems “where their official functions converge,” and estimated that up to 3,700 positions could be filled by FSOs. Non-Foreign Service personnel holding such positions should be incorporated into the Foreign Service within 2 years, or else moved into non-Foreign Service positions or out of the Department. The Foreign Service Reserve would still provide specialists on a temporary basis. The Foreign Service Staff would still provide support personnel. Secretary Dulles announced his acceptance of the Wriston Report on September 8. The first 13 Foreign Service Officers to be appointed under the new dispensation were sworn in on September 30.

June 14, 1954

The Office of General Services was organized into five divisions: Supply Management (Property Management and Supply Operations Branches), Facilities (Space Management, Travel and Transportation, Miscellaneous Services, and Reproduction and Distribution Branches), Visual and Technical Services (Project Analysis, Graphics, and Technical Branches), Language Services (Interpreting, Foreign Language, and English Branches), and Editorial Services (General Editing and Foreign Relations Editing Branches). The Office of General Services also included the U.S, Despatch Agency in New York, and its subordinate agencies in New Orleans and San Francisco.

June 30, 1954

The Director General of the Foreign Service was transferred from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Personnel and Administration to that of the Under Secretary for Administration.

July 1, 1954

The Metals and Minerals Staff in the Office of International Materials Policy was abolished.

August 4, 1954

Secretary of State Dulles issued a directive defining the roles of the Under Secretary for Administration, the Assistant Secretary for Personnel and Administration, and the Administrator of the Bureau of Inspection, Security, and Consular Affairs.

August 25, 1954

An administrative action redesignated the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs as the Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs.

August 28, 1954

The Agricultural Act of 1954 (68 Stat. 897) re-established the Foreign Agricultural Service as a separate entity. Agricultural attachés still reported to their Ambassador.

August 31, 1954

An Act of Congress (68 Stat. 1051) amended paragraph 413b of the 1946 Foreign Service Act to allow up to 500 persons from the Civil Service, the Foreign Service Reserve, and the Foreign Service Staff Corps to be transferred to the Foreign Service without reductions in pay. The program expired March 31, 1955.

October 4, 1954

Secretary Dulles announced that the Wriston Commission would reconvene on October 11 to assess progress toward strengthening the Foreign Service.

November 3, 1954

Department of State Circular No. 123 announced that the Adviser on Refugees and Displaced Persons had been transferred from the Bureau of International Organization Affairs to the Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs.

November 17, 1954

Department of State Circular No. 125 made the Director of the Policy Planning Staff the Assistant Secretary of State for Policy Planning.

December 31, 1954

Inspection functions, including the Foreign Service Inspection Corps, were transferred from the Bureau of Inspection, Security, and Consular Affairs to the Office of the Under Secretary for Administration. The Bureau’s name reverted to “Security and Consular Affairs.”

January 11, 1955

The position of Deputy Under Secretary for Administration was established to replace that of Under Secretary of State for Administration, which had expired on December 31, 1954. Loy W. Henderson assumed the post on January 26.

January 15, 1955

The Office of International Trade and Resources replaced the Office of International Materials Policy and the Office of Economic Defense and Trade Policy.

January 21, 1955

Department of State Circular 136 established a short-lived Special Assistant for Refugee and Migrations Problems.

January 26, 1955

The position of Comptroller was established. He held rank equivalent to an Assistant Secretary and would be responsible, under the Under Secretary for Administration, for budgeting and fiscal affairs, operating the personnel program, and overseeing the provision of administrative services. Isaac W. Carpenter, Jr. assumed the position. Carpenter became Assistant Secretary for Administration and Comptroller on August 11, 1955.

February 26, 1955

The Wriston Committee reported on progress made toward strengthening the effectiveness of the Foreign Service. One of its recommendations was the establishment of an additional class of Foreign Service Officers: Ambassadors of the United States, or Career Ambassadors. It recommended a Scholarship Training Program for recruitment. Establishment of a diplomatic academy, however, was rejected as tending to isolate future diplomats. The Committee’s report was released on March 23.

March 8, 1955

The Foreign Service Institute was transferred from the Office of Personnel to the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Administration.

April 5, 1955

The Foreign Service Act Amendments of 1955 (69 Stat. 24) allowed for lateral entry into the Foreign Service of up to 1,250 members of the Civil Service, Foreign Service Reserve, or the Foreign Service Staff Corps. Candidates needed at least four years’ federal service and had to pass examinations prescribed by the Board of Examiners for the Foreign Service. Salaries would depend on candidates’ age, qualification, and experience.

By the end of 1957, 1,525 persons had been integrated into the Foreign Service: 631 had been Department Civil Service, 802 had been Foreign Service Staff, 69 had been Foreign Service Reserve, and 23 came from other Federal agencies. Three hundred positions in the Department were redesignated as non-Foreign Service.

The Act also established salary differentials of up to 25% to personnel assigned to hardship posts, created a system of educational allowances, and made changes in the selection-out and lateral entry processes.

April 30, 1955

After 27 years of service, Ruth B. Shipley retired as head of the Passport Office. Frances G. Knight, then an Assistant Deputy Administrator in the Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs, succeeded her the next day.

May 4, 1955

Foreign Service Circular 125 provided for granting Attaché and Assistant Attaché titles to members of the Foreign Agricultural Service who were serving overseas. On July 28, Executive Order 10624 required the Secretary of Agriculture to ensure that instructions to USDA personnel serving overseas were consistent with U.S. foreign policy objectives, and placed them under the leadership of chiefs of diplomatic missions.

May 9, 1955

Executive Order 10610 abolished the Foreign Operations Administration. Department of State Delegation of Authority No. 85 of June 30, 1955, established the International Cooperation Administration to oversee U.S. foreign assistance programs except for military assistance, refugee programs, and contributions to international organizations. The Director was appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Agency for International Development replaced the ICA in 1961.

May 18, 1955

The Department of State announced that the Blair House would be the official residence for visiting heads of state and other high-ranking foreign dignitaries.

July 15, 1955

An agreement was reached with USIA to allow diplomatic or consular titles to be granted to Public Affairs, Information, and Cultural Affairs Officers serving overseas.

August 5, 1955

The Department of State Organization Act (69 Stat. 536) authorized the creation of three Deputy Under Secretaries of State. These were: Economic Affairs (August 1955-June 1958; March 1969–May 1972), Management (1955–1978), and Political Affairs (1955–1969). It also provided for ten Assistant Secretaries.

An amendment to the Foreign Service Act of 1946 (69 Stat. 537) established the honorary rank of Career Ambassador. The President could, with the advice and consent of the Senate, confer this title on persons who had served at least 15 years, three of which had been at the rank of Career Minister, who had rendered exceptionally distinguished service, and who had met other requirements prescribed by the Secretary of State. The first four Career Ambassadors: James Clement Dunn, Loy W. Henderson, H. Freeman Matthews, and Robert D. Murphy, were appointed on March 7, 1956 and were sworn in on April 9.

August 8, 1955

The Protocol Staff became the Office of the Chief of Protocol and was moved from the Executive Secretariat to the Office of the Under Secretary.

August 10, 1955

An Assistant Secretary for Policy Planning was appointed. The position continued until January 20, 1961.

September 26, 1955

The Passport Office moved from the Winder Building, on 17th Street, N.W., to the first three floors of the Matomic Building at 1717 H Street, N.W.

January 1, 1956

Responsibility for South African and Madagascar affairs was transferred from the Bureau of European Affairs to the Office of African Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs. Responsibility for Australia and New Zealand was transferred from the Bureau of European Affairs to the Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs.

February 2, 1956

The Wriston Committee released its third and final report on reorganization of the Foreign Service.

February 15, 1956

Foreign Service Circular 165 directed Foreign Service Inspectors to obtain performance reports on recently-integrated Foreign Service personnel.

March 24, 1956

Executive Order 10663 transferred responsibility for the U.S. Escapee Program, which assisted persons fleeing from Soviet-Bloc countries, from the International Cooperation Administration to the Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs.

April 19, 1956

Department of State Circular 187 established an Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs, headed by a Deputy Administrator, in the Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs.

May 15, 1956

The Bureau of Inter-American Affairs replaced its Office of Regional American Affairs with the Offices of Inter-American Regional Political and Regional Economic Affairs.

June 6, 1956

Foreign Service Circular 179 announced that, effective August 15, the U.S. Despatch Agency would no longer accept non-official shipments to U.S. Government personnel abroad.

June 11, 1956

Pursuant to Executive Order 10590 of January 18, 1955, the Department of State designated Burke J. Wilkinson, Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, as Employment Policy Officer for the Department and the Foreign Service. Department Circular No. 192 designated Deputy Assistant Secretaries and the heads of commissions, boards, and corporations under the Department as Deputy Employment Policy Officers. Foreign Service Circular No. 180 also designated deputy chiefs of mission and the principal officers of consulates as Deputy Employment Policy Officers.

July 2, 1956

The Department of State issued new regulations about the use and display of flags at Foreign Service posts. It also introduced official flags for Chiefs of Mission and Consular Officers.

July 24, 1956

President Eisenhower sent instructions to all Chiefs of Mission making them responsible for supervising the representatives and activities of all U.S. agencies in their country of assignment.

July 26, 1956

Department Circular 198 announced the establishment of a Special Assistant for East-West Contacts in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. The Special Assistant was responsible for developing proposals for exchanges with Soviet-bloc countries.

July 27, 1956

Department Circular No. 199 established two Deputy Assistant Secretary positions in the Bureau of Public Affairs, one for International Information and Cultural Affairs and the other for Domestic Public Affairs.

July 28, 1956

The Foreign Service Act Amendments of 1956 (70 Stat. 704) increased the salaries of chiefs of mission, established ten classes of FSOs, including Career Ministers and Career Ambassadors, authorized commissary and recreational facilities abroad, and expanded medical and hospital benefits for Foreign Service personnel and their families. The Act also facilitated lateral entry into the Foreign Service.

August 27, 1956

The Department of State announced that it would open a reception center for foreign visitors in Seattle in January 1957.

September 10, 1956

The Department of State established a Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs. The new position oversaw Offices of Northern African and Southern African Affairs.

October 1, 1956

The Department of State opened a new passport agency in Los Angeles, California.

Work also began on clearing the site for a new Department of State building in Washington, DC.

November 2, 1956

The Department of State instituted a new language policy that encouraged Foreign Service Officers to acquire a “useful” knowledge of two foreign languages within five years, as well as basic proficiency in the language of each post of assignment. During 1957, overseas language training schools were opened in Nice (French), Frankfurt (German), and Mexico City (Spanish).

December 6, 1956

Secretary Dulles approved publication of the Department of State Organization Manual, which cancelled a previous manual issued January 25, 1950.

In the Office of Intelligence and Research, the Division of Research for Western Europe was reorganized into a Regional European Research Staff and four geographic Branches (British and Northern European; Central, Southern, and Western European).

January 5, 1957

President Eisenhower laid the cornerstone for a new Department of State building.

May 7, 1957

The Foreign Service Institute moved to the Jefferson-Taylor Building (SA-6), which was formerly unused garage and storage space at the Arlington Towers Apartments. FSI’s former location at 2115 C Street, N.W., was demolished on July 1.

July 6, 1957

State Annexes 5 and 7 were demolished to clear ground for the new Department of State building.

July 19, 1957

In the Office of Intelligence and Research, the Division of Functional Intelligence added two new Staffs: Agricultural Commodities, and Energy. The Commodities Staff became the Industries Staff.

August 26, 1957

The Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs was reorganized into an African Affairs area and a Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs area, each headed by a Deputy Assistant Secretary.

October 10, 1957

The Special Assistant to the Secretary for Intelligence and Research became Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, with rank equivalent to an Assistant Secretary of State. In the new Bureau, the Office of Intelligence Research became “Intelligence Research and Analysis.” The Office of Libraries and Intelligence Acquisition became the Office of Intelligence Resources and Coordination. It included the Geographer and the Divisions of Intelligence Collection and Distribution, Biographic Information and the Library Division. There were five geographic Divisions of Research and Analysis: Western Europe, USSR and Eastern Europe, Far East, Near East, and American Republics. A Division of Functional Intelligence dealt with economic matters.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs became the Bureau of Public Affairs.

November 19, 1957

The Chief of the Foreign Service Inspection Corps became the Inspector General of the Foreign Service, with rank equivalent to an Assistant Secretary of State.

January 1, 1958

To reduce the volume of telegraph messages, the Department authorized six posts (Paris, Bonn, Rome, New Delhi, Seoul, and Mexico City) to send and receive airgrams. Other posts would follow as the forms became available. Posts were urged to use airgrams for all but the most urgent messages.

January 13, 1958

The position of Science Adviser was revived with the appointment of Dr. Wallace R. Brode. The Department also announced the appointment of science attachés to the embassies in London, Paris, Rome, Bonn, Stockholm, and Tokyo.

January 15, 1958

The Department of State announced that, effective February 1, color photographs would be accepted in U.S. passports.

February 9, 1958

Press and public affairs functions administered by the International Cooperation Administration under the Mutual Security Act of 1954 were transferred to the Department of State’s Bureau of Public Affairs.

February 19, 1958

In the Division of Functional Intelligence, the Industry and International Trade Staffs were replaced by an International Trade and Materials Staff.

March 28, 1958

Foreign Service Circular 239 dealt with the administration of the Foreign Service Staff Corps. It proposed the establishment of a ten-class salary schedule, with the top three grades corresponding to FSOs 3-5. Promotion would be within a position structure. Transfer would be possible to either the Civil Service or to FSR status (the latter for up to four years). Lateral entry into the Foreign Service as an FSO-7 was possible.

April 30, 1958

In the Office of Intelligence Research and Analysis, Deputy Directors for Regional and Functional Intelligence were established. The former oversaw the regional Divisions of Research and Analysis and the latter, the economic staffs. The Psychological Intelligence and External Research Staffs were abolished, and an Intelligence Support Staff and a Division of Research and Publications were established.

June 30, 1958

The Mutual Security Act of 1958 (72 Stat. 274) re-established the position of Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs. It also reduced the number of Deputy Under Secretaries to two. C. Douglas Dillon, formerly Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, became Under Secretary for Economic Affairs on July 1.

July 18, 1958

Congress authorized an eleventh Assistant Secretary of State (72 Stat. 363), permitting the designation of an Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

August 16, 1958

Foreign Service Circular 227 announced a mandatory language proficiency testing program. Foreign Service Officers were expected to have “useful” knowledge of 2 foreign languages, and to be proficient enough in the language of their post of assignment for routine travel, social activities, and office skills. Testing began on August 27.

August 20, 1958

The Bureau of African Affairs was formed from the Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs. It initially comprised Offices of Northern and of Middle and Southern African Affairs. Algeria remained under the Bureau of European Affairs, while Egypt and Sudan remained under the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.

September 22, 1958

Secretary of State Dulles inaugurated a senior officer course at the Foreign Service Institute. It was to be the most advanced training program in international relations offered in the Department. The first class graduated on June 12, 1959.

September 23, 1958

A reorganization of the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs replaced the Offices of Middle American and Southern American Affairs with four Offices: Central American and Panamanian Affairs, Caribbean and Mexican Affairs, East Coast Affairs, and West Coast Affairs.

September 30, 1958

Foreign Service Circular 255 revised the criteria for Foreign Service assignments to the Department of State. The Foreign Service Act of 1946 had required three years of home service during the first fifteen years of a FSO’s service, which made three-year domestic tours the rule. In response to the designation of more Department positions as Foreign Service, the Circular ruled that senior and mid-level officers might serve for at least four years in the Department, although not necessarily in the same office. Junior officers would usually serve two-year terms.

November 1958

Language proficiency levels in the Foreign Service were designated alpha-numerically, with “S” indicating spoken and “R” indicating written language skills. There were five numerical levels, with Level 4 indicating proficiency in all levels pertinent to the Foreign Service; Level 5 meant being effectively bilingual.

November 28, 1958

Executive Order 10791 established the order of succession in the Department of State. The third, fourth, and fifth-ranking officers would be the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, the Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs, and the Deputy Under Secretary for Administration.

December 13, 1958

The position of Overseas Science Officer was re-established, with seven being appointed for two-year periods to London, Paris (which received two), Rome, Bonn, Stockholm, and Tokyo.

February 22, 1959

The Bureau of Intelligence and Research was reorganized, adding a Regional Office of Research and Analysis for Sino-Soviet Bloc Affairs to those for the American Republics, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and Western Europe. There were also three functional offices: The Offices of Current Intelligence Indications, Functional and Biographic Intelligence, and Intelligence Resources and Coordination.

April 15, 1959

A passport agency was opened in Miami, Florida.

An Office of Soviet Union Affairs was established in the Bureau of European Affairs. The Office of Eastern European Affairs continued to cover the Warsaw Pact countries, as well as Yugoslavia, Albania, and the Baltic States.

June 1, 1959

The Department of State established the Bureau of International Cultural Relations under a Special Assistant for Coordination of International Education and Cultural Relations. In addition to the Office of the Special Assistant, the Bureau comprised the International Educational Exchange Service and the East-West Contacts, Cultural Presentations, and UNESCO Relations Staffs.

July 2, 1959

Following the transfer of responsibility for cultural affairs to the new Bureau of International Cultural Relations, the Bureau of Public Affairs was reorganized into the News, Public Services, and Historical Divisions, as well as the Policy and Plans, Mutual Security Information, and Public Studies Staffs.

July 30, 1959

The Department of State Organization Act (73 Stat. 265) authorized the President to appoint either an Under Secretary for Political Affairs or an Under Secretary for Economic Affairs to be the third-ranking officer in the Department. When there was no Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, the ranking officer in this area was either a Deputy Under Secretary or an Assistant Secretary.

September 30, 1959

Executive Order 10839 further established the order of succession within the Department of State as: the Under Secretary, the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, the Deputy Under Secretaries and the Assistant Secretaries in order of their designation by either the Secretary or the Acting Secretary or according to their lengths of service.

October 5, 1959

Department Circular No. 339 established the Office of Inspector General and Comptroller for Mutual Security, who reported to the Under Secretary of State about the effectiveness of mutual security programs. The Office comprised the Divisions of Mutual Security Financial Management, Mutual Security Investigations, and Mutual Security Evaluations.

November 14, 1959

President Eisenhower announced that he had accepted a recommendation by Secretary of State Christian Herter to establish a six-member National Advisory Committee on Inter-American Affairs.

November 16, 1959

An East-West Branch was established in the Field Advisory Services Division of the Visa Office. Its mission was to process applications of Soviet-bloc nationals participating in exchange programs.

November 25, 1959

A reorganization of the Bureau of Public Affairs changed its divisions into offices. The Public Studies Division became the Public Opinion Studies Staff and the Policy Guidance and Coordination Staff became the Policy Plans and Guidance Staff.