US Secretary of State

Chart of Every US Secretary of State

Thomas Jefferson, America's first Secretary of State
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 StatePresidentStateAppointment
Thomas JeffersonGeorge WashingtonVirginia1789
Edmund RandolphGeorge WashingtonVirginia1794
Timothy PickeringGeorge Washington
John Adams
Pennsylvania1795, 1797
John MarshallJohn AdamsVirginia1800
James MadisonThomas JeffersonVirginia1801
Robert SmithJames MadisonMaryland1809
James MonroeJames MadisonVirginia1811
John Quincy AdamsJames MonroeMassachusetts1817
Henry ClayJohn Quincy AdamsKentucky1825
Martin Van BurenAndrew JacksonNew York1829
Edward LivingstonAndrew JacksonLouisiana1831
Louis McLaneAndrew JacksonDelaware1833
John ForsythAndrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
Georgia1834, 1837
Daniel WebsterWilliam Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Abel P UpshurJohn TylerVirginia1843
John C. CalhounJohn Tyler
James Polk
South Carolina1844, 1845
James BuchananJames Polk
Zachary Taylor
John M. ClaytonZachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Delaware1849, 1850
Daniel WebsterMillard FillmoreMassachusetts1850
Edward EverettMillard FillmoreMassachusetts1852
William L. MarcyFranklin Pierce
James Buchanan
New York1853, 1857
Lewis CassJames BuchananMichigan1857
Jeremiah S. BlackJames Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Pennsylvania1860, 1861
William H. SewardAbraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
New York1861, 1865
Elihu B. WashburneUlysses S. GrantIllinois1869
Hamilton FishUlysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
New York1869, 1877
William M. EvartsRutherford B. Hayes
James Garfield
New York1877, 1881
James G. BlaineJames Garfield
Chester Arthur
F.T. FrelinghuysenChester Arthur
Grover Cleveland
New Jersey1881, 1885
Thomas F. BayardGrover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
Delaware1885, 1889
James G. BlaineBenjamin HarrisonMaine1889
John W. FosterBenjamin HarrisonIndiana1892
Walter Q. GreshamGrover ClevelandIndiana1893
Richard OlneyGrover Cleveland
William McKinley
Massachusetts1895, 1897
John ShermanWilliam McKinleyOhio1897
William R. DayWilliam McKinleyOhio1898
John HayWilliam McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
Washington D.C.1898, 1901
Elihu RootTheodore RooseveltNew York1905
Robert BaconTheodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
New York1909
Philander C. KnoxWilliam Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Pennsylvania1909, 1913
William J. BryanWoodrow WilsonNebraska1913
Robert LansingWoodrow WilsonNew York1915
Bainbridge ColbyWoodrow WilsonNew York1920
Charles E. HughesWarren Harding
Calvin Coolidge
New York1921, 1923
Frank B. KelloggCalvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Minnesota1925, 1929
Henry L. StimsonHerbert HooverNew York1929
Cordell HullFranklin D. RooseveltTennessee1933
E.R. Stettinius, Jr.Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
New York1944, 1945
James F. ByrnesHarry TrumanSouth Carolina1945
George C. MarshallHarry TrumanPennsylvania1947
Dean G. AchesonHarry TrumanConnecticut1949
John Foster DullesDwight EisenhowerNew York1953
Christian A. HerterMassachusetts1959
Dean RuskJohn Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
New York1961, 1963
William P. RogersRichard NixonNew York1969
Henry A. KissingerRichard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Washington, D.C.1973, 1974
Cyrus R. VanceJimmy CarterNew York1977
Edmund S. MuskieJimmy CarterMaine1980
Alexander M. Haig, Jr.Ronald ReaganConnecticut1981
George P. SchultzRonald ReaganCalifornia1982
James A. Baker 3rdGeorge H. W. BushTexas1989
Lawrence S. EagleburgerGeorge H. W. BushMichigan1992
Warren M. ChristopherWilliam ClintonCalifornia1993
Madeleine AlbrightWilliam ClintonNew York1997
Colin PowellGeorge W. BushNew York2001
Condoleezza RiceGeorge W. BushAlabama2005
Hillary ClintonBarack ObamaIllinois2009
John KerryBarack ObamaMassachusetts2013

More Information on US Historical Figures

Chart of Presidents and Vice Presidents 
Order of Presidential Succession
Top 10 Presidents

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Your Citation
Kelly, Martin. "US Secretary of State." ThoughtCo, Jun. 9, 2016, Kelly, Martin. (2016, June 9). US Secretary of State. Retrieved from Kelly, Martin. "US Secretary of State." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 17, 2018).