United States Assistant Secretary of State

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The Assistant Secretary of State, from 1853 until 1913, was the second-ranking official within the American Department of State. Prior to 1853, the Chief Clerk was the second-ranking officer, and after 1913, the Counselor was the second-ranking position, though the Assistant Secretary continued to be a position until 1924. Specific duties of the incumbents varied over the years and included such responsibilities as supervising the Diplomatic and Consular Bureaus, general supervision of correspondence, consular appointments, administration of the Department, and supervision of economic matters and various geographic divisions. Today, the title of the second-ranking position is the Deputy Secretary of State.

In modern times, Assistant Secretary of State is a title used for many executive positions in the United States State Department. A set of six Assistant Secretaries reporting to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs manage diplomatic missions within their designated geographic regions, plus one Assistant Secretary dealing with international organizations, and another dealing with working with other countries on narcotics issues. Assistant Secretaries usually manage individual bureaus of the Department of State. When the manager of a bureau or another agency holds a title other than Assistant Secretary, such as "Director," it can be said to be of "Assistant Secretary equivalent rank."

# Picture Name Residency Term of Office President(s) served under Secretary of State(s) served under
Start End
1 Ambrose Dudley Mann Virginia March 23, 1853 May 8, 1855 Franklin Pierce William L. Marcy
2 William Hunter §§ Rhode Island May 9, 1855 October 31, 1855 Franklin Pierce William L. Marcy
3 John Addison Thomas New York November 1, 1855 April 3, 1857 Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan William L. Marcy, Lewis Cass
4 John Appleton John Appleton Maine April 4, 1857 June 10, 1860 James Buchanan Lewis Cass
5 William H. Trescot William H. Trescot South Carolina June 8, 1860 December 20, 1860 James Buchanan Lewis Cass, Jeremiah S. Black
6 Frederick William Seward Frederick W. Seward New York March 6, 1861 March 4, 1869 Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson William H. Seward
7 J.C. Bancroft Davis J.C. Bancroft Davis New York March 25, 1869 November 13, 1871 Ulysses S. Grant Hamilton Fish
8 Charles Hale Massachusetts February 19, 1872 January 24, 1873 Ulysses S. Grant Hamilton Fish
9 J.C. Bancroft Davis J.C. Bancroft Davis New York January 24, 1873 January 30, 1874 Ulysses S. Grant Hamilton Fish
10 John Cadwalader John Cadwalader Pennsylvania June 17, 1874 March 20, 1877 Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes Hamilton Fish, William M. Evarts
11 Frederick William Seward Frederick W. Seward New York March 16, 1877 October 31, 1879 Rutherford B. Hayes William M. Evarts
12 John Milton Hay John Hay Ohio November 1, 1879 May 3, 1881 Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield William M. Evarts, James G. Blaine
13 Robert Roberts Hitt Robert R. Hitt Illinois May 4, 1881 December 19, 1881 James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur James G. Blaine
14 J.C. Bancroft Davis J.C. Bancroft Davis New York December 19, 1881 July 7, 1882 Chester A. Arthur Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
15 John Davis Washington DC July 7, 1882 February 23, 1885 Chester A. Arthur Frederick T. Frelinghuysen
16 James D. Porter Tennessee March 20, 1885 September 17, 1887 Grover Cleveland Thomas F. Bayard
17 George L. Rives New York November 19, 1887 March 5, 1889 Grover Cleveland Thomas F. Bayard
18 William F. Wharton § Massachusetts April 2, 1889 March 20, 1893 Benjamin Harrison, Grover Cleveland James G. Blaine, John W. Foster, Walter Q. Gresham
19 Josiah Quincy Massachusetts March 20, 1893 September 22, 1893 Grover Cleveland Walter Q. Gresham
20 Edwin F. Uhl § Michigan November 1, 1893 February 11, 1896 Grover Cleveland Walter Q. Gresham, Richard Olney
21 William Woodville Rockhill William Woodville Rockhill Maryland February 11, 1896 May 10, 1897 Grover Cleveland, William McKinley Richard Olney, John Sherman
22 William Rufus Day William R. Day Ohio May 3, 1897 April 27, 1898 William McKinley John Sherman
23 John Bassett Moore John B. Moore New York April 27, 1898 September 16, 1898 William McKinley William R. Day
24 David Jayne Hill David J. Hill New York October 25, 1898 January 28, 1903 William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt John Hay
25 Francis Butler Loomis Francis B. Loomis § Ohio January 7, 1903 October 10, 1905 Theodore Roosevelt John Hay, Elihu Root
26 Robert Bacon Robert Bacon New York September 5, 1905 January 27, 1909 Theodore Roosevelt Elihu Root
27 John Callan O'Laughlin Washington DC January 27, 1909 March 5, 1909 Theodore Roosevelt Robert Bacon
28 Huntington Wilson Illinois March 5, 1909 March 19, 1913 William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson Philander C. Knox, William Jennings Bryan
29 John E. Osborne John E. Osborne Wyoming April 21, 1913 December 14, 1916 Woodrow Wilson William Jennings Bryan, Robert Lansing
30 William Phillips Massachusetts January 24, 1917 March 25, 1920 Woodrow Wilson Robert Lansing, Bainbridge Colby
31 Fred Morris Dearing Missouri March 11, 1921 February 28, 1922 Warren G. Harding Charles Evans Hughes
32 Leland B. Harrison Leland B. Harrison Illinois March 31, 1922 June 30, 1924 Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge Charles Evans Hughes

§ Served as Acting Secretary of State
§§ Served as Acting Secretary of State, but not during term as Assistant Secretary of State

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