Every US Secretary of State

Portrait of Thomas Jefferson at desk with hands folded.
Thomas Jefferson, America's first Secretary of State. Getty Images

The Secretary of State is the head of the State Department in the United States. This department deals with all foreign affairs and relations for the nation. The Secretary is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the US Senate. The Secretary of State's main duty is to carry out American foreign policy. Their duties include advising the president on foreign affairs, negotiating treaties with foreign countries, issuing passports, overseeing the State Department and the Office of Foreign Services, and ensuring that American citizens are protected as much as possible while in foreign countries. Over time, the Secretary's duties have become more complex as the geopolitical realm has changed. 

Secretary of State Chart

Secretary of State President State Appointment
Thomas Jefferson George Washington Virginia 1789
Edmund Randolph George Washington Virginia 1794
Timothy Pickering George Washington
John Adams
Pennsylvania 1795, 1797
John Marshall John Adams Virginia 1800
James Madison Thomas Jefferson Virginia 1801
Robert Smith James Madison Maryland 1809
James Monroe James Madison Virginia 1811
John Quincy Adams James Monroe Massachusetts 1817
Henry Clay John Quincy Adams Kentucky 1825
Martin Van Buren Andrew Jackson New York 1829
Edward Livingston Andrew Jackson Louisiana 1831
Louis McLane Andrew Jackson Delaware 1833
John Forsyth Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
Georgia 1834, 1837
Daniel Webster William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Massachusetts 1841
Abel P Upshur John Tyler Virginia 1843
John C. Calhoun John Tyler
James Polk
South Carolina 1844, 1845
James Buchanan James Polk
Zachary Taylor
Pennsylvania 1849
John M. Clayton Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Delaware 1849, 1850
Daniel Webster Millard Fillmore Massachusetts 1850
Edward Everett Millard Fillmore Massachusetts 1852
William L. Marcy Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
New York 1853, 1857
Lewis Cass James Buchanan Michigan 1857
Jeremiah S. Black James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Pennsylvania 1860, 1861
William H. Seward Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
New York 1861, 1865
Elihu B. Washburne Ulysses S. Grant Illinois 1869
Hamilton Fish Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
New York 1869, 1877
William M. Evarts Rutherford B. Hayes
James Garfield
New York 1877, 1881
James G. Blaine James Garfield
Chester Arthur
Maine 1881
F.T. Frelinghuysen Chester Arthur
Grover Cleveland
New Jersey 1881, 1885
Thomas F. Bayard Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
Delaware 1885, 1889
James G. Blaine Benjamin Harrison Maine 1889
John W. Foster Benjamin Harrison Indiana 1892
Walter Q. Gresham Grover Cleveland Indiana 1893
Richard Olney Grover Cleveland
William McKinley
Massachusetts 1895, 1897
John Sherman William McKinley Ohio 1897
William R. Day William McKinley Ohio 1898
John Hay William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
Washington D.C. 1898, 1901
Elihu Root Theodore Roosevelt New York 1905
Robert Bacon Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
New York 1909
Philander C. Knox William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Pennsylvania 1909, 1913
William J. Bryan Woodrow Wilson Nebraska 1913
Robert Lansing Woodrow Wilson New York 1915
Bainbridge Colby Woodrow Wilson New York 1920
Charles E. Hughes Warren Harding
Calvin Coolidge
New York 1921, 1923
Frank B. Kellogg Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Minnesota 1925, 1929
Henry L. Stimson Herbert Hoover New York 1929
Cordell Hull Franklin D. Roosevelt Tennessee 1933
E.R. Stettinius, Jr. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
New York 1944, 1945
James F. Byrnes Harry Truman South Carolina 1945
George C. Marshall Harry Truman Pennsylvania 1947
Dean G. Acheson Harry Truman Connecticut 1949
John Foster Dulles Dwight Eisenhower New York 1953
Christian A. Herter Dwight Eisenhower Massachusetts 1959
Dean Rusk John Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
New York 1961, 1963
William P. Rogers Richard Nixon New York 1969
Henry A. Kissinger Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Washington, D.C. 1973, 1974
Cyrus R. Vance Jimmy Carter New York 1977
Edmund S. Muskie Jimmy Carter Maine 1980
Alexander M. Haig, Jr. Ronald Reagan Connecticut 1981
George P. Schultz Ronald Reagan California 1982
James A. Baker 3rd George H. W. Bush Texas 1989
Lawrence S. Eagleburger George H. W. Bush Michigan 1992
Warren M. Christopher William Clinton California 1993
Madeleine Albright William Clinton New York 1997
Colin Powell George W. Bush New York 2001
Condoleezza Rice George W. Bush Alabama 2005
Hillary Clinton Barack Obama Illinois 2009
John Kerry Barack Obama Massachusetts 2013