13 Facts About State Department


Much of its history, the Department of State was composed of two primary administrative units: the diplomatic service, which staffed US legations and embassies, and the consular service, which was primarily responsible for promoting American commerce abroad and assisting distressed American sailors.

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In 1842, the Department of State was required to report to Congress on foreign commercial systems, and a clerk within the department was assigned the responsibility of arranging this information.

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The Department of State underwent its first major overhaul with the Rogers Act of 1924, which merged the diplomatic and consular services into the Foreign Service, a professionalized personnel system under which the secretary of state is authorized to assign diplomats abroad.

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From 2009 to 2017, the State Department launched 21st Century Statecraft, with the official goal of "complementing traditional foreign policy tools with newly innovated and adapted instruments of statecraft that fully leverage the technologies of our interconnected world.

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In 2014, the State Department began expanding into the Navy Hill Complex across 23rd Street NW from the Truman Building.

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Department of State conducts these activities with a civilian workforce, and normally uses the Foreign Service personnel system for positions that require service abroad.

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From 1790 to 1800, the State Department was headquartered in Philadelphia, the national capital at the time.

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State Department moved several times throughout the capital in the ensuing decades, including six buildings in September 1800; the War Office Building west of the White House the following May; the Treasury Building once more from September 1819 to November 1866; the Washington City Orphan Home from November 1866 to July 1875; and the State, War, and Navy Building in 1875.

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Since May 1947, the State Department has been based in the Harry S Truman Building, which originally was intended to house the Department of Defense; it has since undergone several expansions and renovations, most recently in 2016.

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Previously known as the "Main State Building", in September 2000 it was renamed in honor of President Harry S Truman, who was a major proponent of internationalism and diplomacy.

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US Department of State has in the recent years rolled out Professional Exchange Fellows who have risen to professional ranks in their lives and are chosen by the US Embassies worldwide to be a professional fellows of the State Department spending time in the United States and interacting with their American colleagues, leadership and counterparts.

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In 1964, at the height of the Cold War, Seabees were assigned to the State Department after listening devices were found in the Embassy of the United States in Moscow; this initial unit was called the "Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FOUR, Detachment November".

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The State Department's score was dismal due to its extremely low processing score of 23 percent, which was completely out of line with any other agency's performance.

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