Secretary of State

Secretary of State

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Secretary of State or State Secretary is a commonly used title for a senior or mid-level post in government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the Government.

In many countries, a Secretary of State is a mid-level post. It is usually a politically-appointed position, although in some countries, such as Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, it can be filled by a member of the executive bureaucracy (civil service) as a political appointment. In the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

, there is one Secretary of State
Cardinal Secretary of State
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...

, who coordinates all the departments of the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

 (that is, equivalent to a Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

). In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 a Secretary of State
Secretary of State (United Kingdom)
In the United Kingdom, a Secretary of State is a Cabinet Minister in charge of a Government Department ....

 is a member of the Cabinet
Cabinet of the United Kingdom
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and some 22 Cabinet Ministers, the most senior of the government ministers....

 appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 (that is, equivalent to a Minister
Minister (government)
A minister is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. Senior ministers are members of the cabinet....

). In the federal government of the United States of America
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

, there is one Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

, the most senior political appointee responsible for foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 (that is, equivalent to a Foreign Minister
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

).

Argentina


The Secretary of State (Secretario de Estado) in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 (federal government) is a high official with the same rank of a Minister, who is responsible directly to the President. The position must be distinguished from a "Secretary", a lower position, responsible to a Minister.

The official responsible for foreign policy is called Minister of Foreign Affairs (Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores) or "Chancellor" (Canciller).

Belgium


As in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, a Secretary of State in Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 is a junior minister who is responsible to a minister or the Prime Minister. For example, Vincent Van Quickenborne
Vincent Van Quickenborne
Vincent Paul Marie Van Quickenborne is a Belgian politician, as a member of the Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats party....

 was a Secretary of State charged with the simplification of the administration, and in this role he was accountable to the Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

. Secretaries of state do not fall under the constitutional provision that there should be an equal number of French and Dutch-speaking ministers (with the possible exception of the Prime Minister).

Canada


The Canadian Cabinet used to have a Secretary of State for External Affairs who acted as the country's Foreign Minister
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

, but this position was abolished in 1993 and a new position of Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Canada)
The Minister of Foreign Affairs is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for overseeing the federal government's international relations section of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada....

 was created. From 1867 to 1993 there was also a Secretary of State for Canada
Secretary of State for Canada
The position of Secretary of State for Canada was a Canadian Cabinet position with a corresponding department. It was established in 1867 as the official channel of communication between the Dominion of Canada and the Imperial government in London...

 who was a Cabinet minister whose duties varied over time but who was responsible for the Department of Secretary of State until the position was abolished. Since 1993, some junior ministers have been styled Secretary of State
Secretary of State (Canada)
Secretary of State was a title given to some Ministers of State in the Government of Canada sitting outside Cabinet from 1993 to 2003 and again from 2007 to 2008. Secretaries of State were members of the ministry and the Queen's Privy Council for Canada...

, and assigned in specific policy areas to assist Cabinet ministers. However, these junior ministers are not themselves members of Cabinet. A similar role is played by Ministers of State
Minister of state (Canada)
A Minister of State is a junior cabinet minister in the Canadian Cabinet, usually given specific responsibilities to assist a senior cabinet minister in a specific area....

, however Ministers are members of the cabinet.

England and Great Britain



In the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

, before 1660, an officer entitled Secretary of State
Secretary of State (England)
In the Kingdom of England, the title of Secretary of State came into being near the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I , the usual title before that having been King's Clerk, King's Secretary, or Principal Secretary....

 came into being near the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 (1558–1603), the usual title before that having been King's Clerk, King's Secretary, or Principal Secretary. From 1540 there were sometimes two Secretaries.

From 1660 there were two Secretaries of State, between whom oversight of foreign affairs was divided on a geographical basis while domestic affairs were shared: the Northern Secretary and the Southern Secretary. In 1707, England and Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

 were merged into the Kingdom of Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

, and there was a third Secretary of State for Scotland
Secretary of State for Scotland
The Secretary of State for Scotland is the principal minister of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom with responsibilities for Scotland. He heads the Scotland Office , a government department based in London and Edinburgh. The post was created soon after the Union of the Crowns, but was...

 until 1746. A third Secretary of State for the Colonies
Secretary of State for the Colonies
The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet minister in charge of managing the United Kingdom's various colonial dependencies....

 existed from 1768. In 1782 the system was reformed back to two Secretaries of State: a Home Secretary
Home Secretary
The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the Home Office of the United Kingdom, and one of the country's four Great Offices of State...

 (including colonial affairs) and a Foreign Secretary, with the addition of a third for War
Secretary of State for War
The position of Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a British cabinet-level position, first held by Henry Dundas . In 1801 the post became that of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The position was re-instated in 1854...

 from 1794.

In 1801, Great Britain and Ireland were combined into the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (see below).

Estonia


The Secretary of State (Riigisekretär) directs the State Chancellery. Its mission is to support the Government and the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Estonia
The Prime Minister of Estonia is the head of government of the Republic of Estonia. The prime minister is nominated by the President after appropriate consultations with the parliamentary factions and confirmed by the Parliament. In case of disagreement, the Parliament can reject the President's...

 in policy drafting and implementation. It also supports any Ministers without portfolio
Minister without Portfolio
A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister that does not head a particular ministry...

 and helps to ensure good governance. The first Secretary of State was Karl Terras. Before the Soviet re-occupation in 1944, the State Secretary went into exile
Estonian Government in Exile
The Estonian Government in Exile refers to the formally declared governmental authority of the Republic of Estonia in exile, existing from 1953 until the reestablishment of Estonian sovereignty over Estonian territory in 1992...

 until the position came back to Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 in 1992.

Finland


A Secretary of State, valtiosihteeri, is the highest official below each minister. Ministers, who lead ministries (government departments), comprise the Finnish Council of State
Finnish Council of State
The Cabinet of Finland is the body that directs the Government of Finland. However, in governmental translations to English, the distinction is often blurred between cabinet and government in the wider sense...

. Each Secretary of State is appointed for the term of the minister, and is responsible to the minister.

This is a new arrangement; during the introduction of this model, a secretary was called "political state secretary" (poliittinen valtiosihteeri). In contrast, previously only two ministries, ministries of finance and foreign affairs, used to have Secretaries of State, who were permanently appointed. One such example is Raimo Sailas.

France


In France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, a Secretary of State is a junior minister, responsible to a minister or the Prime Minister. It is not to be confused with the Minister of State
Minister of State
Minister of State is a title borne by politicians or officials in certain countries governed under a parliamentary system. In some countries a "minister of state" is a junior minister, who is assigned to assist a specific cabinet minister...

 title given to a senior French cabinet minister of particular importance.

Under the Ancien Régime, Secretaries of State
Secretary of State (Ancien Régime)
The Secretary of State was the name of several official governmental positions – supervising war, foreign affairs, the navy, the king's household, the clergy, Paris, and Protestant affairs – during the Ancien Régime in France, roughly equivalent to the positions of governmental...

 were Crown officers whose responsibilities were similar to those of today's governmental ministers
French government ministers
The Cabinet of France is a body of top administration members of the Prime Minister's Cabinet. In French, the word gouvernement generally refers to the "Administration", but in a narrower sense to the Cabinet.The Council is responsible to the French National Assembly...

.

Germany


The German Staatssekretär is a Beamter
Beamter
The German word Beamter means civil servant, and is pronounced , with a glottal stop between the 'e' and the 'a'...

(civil servant) who is second only to the minister in a state or federal ministry. The office of Staatssekretär is similar to that of vice minister or deputy minister in other countries. It is a political office, meaning that it is assigned by appointment based on political criteria such as party affiliation, rather than by career progression as a civil servant, although he is the administrative head of the ministry. They depend on the full confidence of their minister and can at any time be posted into provisional retirement with their pension paid in full. This happens usually when the government or the minister changes. De facto such a provisional retirement is lifelong and thus expensive for the taxpayers.

A special case is the Parlamentarische Staatssekretär (parliamentary secretary of state), which is a member of parliament who is appointed to a ministry as a Staatssekretär, in the German Foreign Office
Foreign Office (Germany)
The Foreign Office is the foreign ministry of Germany, a federal agency responsible for both the country's foreign politics and its relationship with the European Union. From 1871 to 1919, it was led by a Foreign Secretary, and since 1919, it has been led by the Foreign Minister of Germany...

 and the German Chancellery
German Chancellery
The German Chancellery is a federal agency serving the executive office of the Chancellor, the head of the German federal government. The chief of the Chancellery holds the rank of either a Secretary of State or a Federal Minister ...

 the official title is Staatsminister (Minister of State
Minister of State
Minister of State is a title borne by politicians or officials in certain countries governed under a parliamentary system. In some countries a "minister of state" is a junior minister, who is assigned to assist a specific cabinet minister...

). Such posts, which were intended to improve the connection between a ministry and the parliament, have recently become subject of some controversy. Critics claim that parliamentary secretaries of state are usually given little to no influence and responsibility within their ministry. All the while they are paid very generously due to receiving two salaries, both as secretary of state and as member of parliament. For example, when interviewed about his post as a parliamentary minister of state in the German Foreign Office
Foreign Office (Germany)
The Foreign Office is the foreign ministry of Germany, a federal agency responsible for both the country's foreign politics and its relationship with the European Union. From 1871 to 1919, it was led by a Foreign Secretary, and since 1919, it has been led by the Foreign Minister of Germany...

 during an investigation into visa abuse
German Visa Affair 2005
The visa affair is the name given by German press to the controversy which arose in early 2005 over a change in the procedure for issuing visas to foreign nationals seeking to enter Germany from non-EU, Eastern European states...

, Ludger Volmer claimed that he had been cut off from the workflow within the ministry, and called the Staatsminister office an "Unding" (absurdity).

In 1998, chancellor Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder is a German politician, and was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. A member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany , he led a coalition government of the SPD and the Greens. Before becoming a full-time politician, he was a lawyer, and before becoming Chancellor...

 introduced the new office of Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (Beauftragter der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien) at the formal rank of a Parlamentarischer Staatssekretär, hence the office is usually called Kulturstaatsminister ("Minister of Culture") for short - although some of the incumbents did not hold a seat in parliament. The German Parliamentary Commission for Culture and the Media (Ausschuss für Kultur und Medien im Deutschen Bundestag) serves in place of a proper ministry for this department. Since 1998, the office of Kulturstaatsminister has been held by Michael Naumann
Michael Naumann
Michael Naumann is a German politician, publisher and journalist. He was the German secretary of culture from 1998 until 2001. He is married to Marie Warburg, daughter of Eric Warburg and granddaughter of Max Warburg....

 (1998–2001), Julian Nida-Rümelin
Julian Nida-Rümelin
Julian Nida-Rümelin is a German philosopher. He was born in Munich into a family with a long artistic tradition.-Background:Nida-Rümelin studied philosophy, physics, mathematics and political sciences...

 (2001–2002), Christina Weiss (2002–2005), and Bernd Neumann
Bernd Neumann
Bernd Neumann is a German politician.- Biography :Neumann was born in Elbing, East Prussia, now Elbląg, Poland. Following the Flight and Expulsion of Germans after World War II he found refuge in Bremen, West Germany. Neumann studied from 1961 to 1966 at the University of Bremen and later he...

 (since 2005).

Holy See


The Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope
Cardinal Secretary of State
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...

, or Cardinal Secretary of State, presides over the Secretariat of State
Secretariat of State (Vatican)
The Secretariat of State is the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia, the government of the Roman Catholic Church. It is headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., and performs all the political and diplomatic functions of Vatican City and the Holy See...

, which is the most important dicastery
Dicastery
Dicastery is an Italicism sometimes used in English to refer to the Departments of the Roman Curia....

 of the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

, as it organizes, makes appointments to, and directs the activities of the other dicasteries.
The secretariat is also responsible for the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

's foreign relations. During a sede vacante
Sede vacante
Sede vacante is an expression, used in the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, that refers to the vacancy of the episcopal see of a particular church...

, the former Secretary of State (the appointment expires when the pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 dies or resigns) assumes some of the functions of the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 as a part of a temporary commission.

Indonesia


In Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, the State Secretary (Sekretaris Negara) is a Government official of Ministerial rank who heads the State Secretariat. The State Secretary gives technical and administrational assistance to the President and Vice President in running State affairs. In the President's case, the State Secretary also provides assistance for the President in his role as Supreme Commander of TNI
TNI
TNI stands for:* Satna Airport, IATA code TNI* Tahitian Noni International, Inc.* Taqramiut Nipingat Inc., an Inuit broadcasting organization in Quebec, Canada* Telephone Network Interface; see Network Interface Device...

. In addition, the State Secretary provides the President and Vice President with their reports, coordinates household matters and protocols, as well as assisting in the drafting of bills
Bills
The Bills were a youth subculture that thrived in Léopoldville in the late 1950s, basing much of their image and outlook on the cowboys of American Western movies...

 and/or Governmental regulations.

Kuwait


The Kuwaiti Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Sheikh Muhammad Al-Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, is in charge of International relations of Kuwait, and all Kuwaiti representatives abroad. Dr. Al Sabah is a member of the cabinet of ministers, and reports straight to His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah The Emir of Kuwait. He also is in cahrge to deal with all the diplomatic representatives in Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

.

Luxembourg


Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

ian Secretaries of State are members of the cabinet, and are ranked below ministers. They are given specific briefs, covering the same briefs as the ministers, and help to assist their respective ministers to perform their functions. They often hold more than one brief or assist more than one minister. In the first Juncker-Asselborn cabinet, there was one Secretary of State, Octavie Modert
Octavie Modert
Octavie Modert is a politician from Luxembourg.She was born in Grevenmacher, and she studied in Strasbourg and Reading....

, who is responsible for Relations with Parliament; Agriculture, Viticulture, and Rural Development; and Culture, Higher Education, and Research. There had been two in the previous cabinet, and three between 1984 and 1989.

Malaysia


In Malaysia, Chief Secretary to the Government is the Malaysian secretary of state.

However, every state in Malaysia have their own Secretary of State, except federal territories. Secretary of State is the member of the State Executive Council, appointed by the Governor
Yang di-Pertua Negeri
The Yang di-Pertua Negeri is the official title of the ceremonial heads of state of the Malaysian states without hereditary rulers, namely Penang, Malacca, Sabah and Sarawak...

 (in Malacca
Malacca
Malacca , dubbed The Historic State or Negeri Bersejarah among locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south...

, Penang
Penang
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state in area after Perlis, and the...

, Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

 and Sarawak
Sarawak
Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo. Known as Bumi Kenyalang , Sarawak is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia followed by Sabah, the second largest state located to the North- East.The administrative capital is Kuching, which...

) or the Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 (except in Negeri Sembilan
Negeri Sembilan
Negeri Sembilan, one of the 13 states that constitutes Malaysia, lies on the western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, just south of Kuala Lumpur and borders Selangor on the north, Pahang in the east, and Malacca and Johor to the south....

, appointed by the Yang DiPertuan Besar; and Perlis
Perlis
Perlis is the smallest state in Malaysia. It lies at the northern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and has Satun and Songkhla Provinces of Thailand on its northern border. It is bordered by the state of Kedah to the south...

, appointed by the King.) The Secretary of State is the head of the public service in his/her state.

Mexico


In Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 a Secretary of State is a member of the Mexican Executive Cabinet
Mexican Executive Cabinet
The cabinet of Mexico is the Executive Cabinet and is a part of the executive branch of the Mexican government. It consists of eighteen Secretaries of State, the head of the federal executive legal office and the Attorney General....

 who responds to the President of the Republic
President of Mexico
The President of the United Mexican States is the head of state and government of Mexico. Under the Constitution, the president is also the Supreme Commander of the Mexican armed forces...

.

Norway



A statssekretær in Norway plays more or less the same role as the French or Swedish equivalent. Secretaries of State are connected to specific ministry, and serve as a de facto vice minister. However, the State Secretary cannot attend a Council of State.

Orange Free State


In the Orange Free State
Orange Free State
The Orange Free State was an independent Boer republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, and later a British colony and a province of the Union of South Africa. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province...

 (1854–1902) the Secretary of State was the original the title of the main administrative officer of the State, who worked closely with both the State President as head of state and head of government, and his cabinet, and with the Volksraad
Volksraad
The Volksraad was the parliament of the former South African Republic , which existed from 1857 to 1902 in part of what is now the South Africa. The body ceased to exist after the British victory in the Second Anglo-Boer War. The Volksraad sat in session in Ou Raadsaal in Church Square, Pretoria...

, the parliament of the Orange Free State
Orange Free State
The Orange Free State was an independent Boer republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, and later a British colony and a province of the Union of South Africa. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province...

. The title of State Secretary was replaced by that of Government Secretary soon after the formation of the state apparatus and was thereafter never used again.

Portugal


In Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 the term Secretário de Estado (plural: Secretários de Estado; feminine: Secretária de Estado) was used to designate the heads of the government departments since the 17th century. In the 19th century, the term Ministro (English: minister) started to be used instead. Curiously the government junior ministers continued to be known as Subsecretário de Estado (English: under-secretary of state). Although in disuse as such, only in 1958 the term Secretário de Estado became the formal meaning of a different post of that of a Ministro (cabinet minister). Since then, the Secretários de Estado are junior ministers, subordinated to a cabinet minister.

Russia


The position of State Secretary existed only in certain time periods
  • In Russian Empire
    Russian Empire
    The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

    :
    • Count Karl Nesselrode
      Karl Nesselrode
      Baltic-German Count Karl Robert Nesselrode, also known as Charles de Nesselrode, was a Russian diplomat and a leading European conservative statesman of the Holy Alliance...

      , State Secretary in 1814, Foreign Minister in 1816
    • M. de Freigang sometime in the 1820-1828 time period
    • Sergei Witte
      Sergei Witte
      Count Sergei Yulyevich Witte , also known as Sergius Witte, was a highly influential policy-maker who presided over extensive industrialization within the Russian Empire. He served under the last two emperors of Russia...

       1903-1905
  • In Russian Federation:
    • Gennady Burbulis
      Gennady Burbulis
      Gennady Eduardovich Burbulis isa Russian politician. A close associate of Boris Yeltsin, he held several high positions in the first Russian government, including Secretary of State, and was one of the drafters and signers of the Belavezha Accords on behalf of Russia...

      , 1991–1992

San Marino


In the Republic of San Marino
San Marino
San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino , is a state situated on the Italian Peninsula on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It is an enclave surrounded by Italy. Its size is just over with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino...

 a Secretary of State is a senior Cabinet Minister in charge of a State Department. The Secretary of State is a member of the Council of Ministers (Congresso di Stato).

South African Republic


In the South African Republic
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

 the Secretary of State was the main administrative officer of the State, working closely with both the State President as head of state and head of government, and the parliament of the South African Republic
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

.

Spain


In present day organisation of the Spanish Government a Secretario de Estado is a junior minister. Each ministry may have one or several Secretaries of State. For example the Secretary of State for Latin America works for the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

From 1715 to 1734 the Secretarios de Estado y del Despacho were the heads of different government departments. The Secretary of State usually served as Chief Minister (See List of Prime Ministers of Spain).

Sweden



In Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, a State Secretary is a political appointee, second in rank to the Minister in charge of the ministry. Unlike ministers, state secretaries are not members of the cabinet. Typically, there is one State Secretary assigned for each minister in the cabinet, and two for the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Sweden
The Prime Minister is the head of government in the Kingdom of Sweden. Before the creation of the office of a Prime Minister in 1876, Sweden did not have a head of government separate from its head of state, namely the King, in whom the executive authority was vested...

. For historical reasons, the State Secretary in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs (Sweden)
The State Secretary for Foreign Affairs is the highest position below the rank of cabinet minister at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. , Frank Belfrage is State Secretary....

 has another title . State Secretaries tend to, more often than the Ministers do, hail from a fixed civil servant background or a professional background relevant to the area of responsibility that belongs to their respective ministries.

Switzerland


In the Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 federal administration, secretaries of state are the most senior career officials. The title is conferred by the Swiss Federal Council
Swiss Federal Council
The Federal Council is the seven-member executive council which constitutes the federal government of Switzerland and serves as the Swiss collective head of state....

 on heads of federal offices whose duties entail independent interaction with senior foreign authorities (cf. article 46 of the Government and Administration Organisation Act). In practice, the function of a secretary of state is the same as in France.

United Kingdom



In the present-day United Kingdom, a secretary of state is a cabinet
Cabinet of the United Kingdom
The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is the collective decision-making body of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, composed of the Prime Minister and some 22 Cabinet Ministers, the most senior of the government ministers....

 minister in charge of a government department
Departments of the United Kingdom Government
Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom contains a number of Cabinet ministers who are usually called secretaries of state when they are in charge of Government departments called ministerial departments...

 (though not all departments are headed by a Secretary of State, e.g. HM Treasury
HM Treasury
HM Treasury, in full Her Majesty's Treasury, informally The Treasury, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the British government's public finance policy and economic policy...

 is headed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

). Secretaries of State are appointed directly by the Prime Minister, and are responsible, along with other Cabinet members, for the collective Government of the UK. There is in theory only one office of Secretary of State, and legislation generally refers only to "the Secretary of State". In practice, there are a number of Secretaries of State, each of whom can exercise some of the functions of the Secretary of State, and are formally titled "Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for ...". These positions can be created without primary legislation.

Federal government



In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 federal government, "Secretary of State" uniquely refers to the official responsible for foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

, the analogue of the foreign secretary or foreign minister
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

 of a country that has one or the other. The U.S. Secretary of State is head of the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

.

Six Secretaries of State became presidents (Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

, James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

, James Monroe
James Monroe
James Monroe was the fifth President of the United States . Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States, and the last president from the Virginia dynasty and the Republican Generation...

, John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States . He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former...

, Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

 and James Buchanan
James Buchanan
James Buchanan, Jr. was the 15th President of the United States . He is the only president from Pennsylvania, the only president who remained a lifelong bachelor and the last to be born in the 18th century....

) and four won Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

s (Frank Kellogg, Cordell Hull
Cordell Hull
Cordell Hull was an American politician from the U.S. state of Tennessee. He is best known as the longest-serving Secretary of State, holding the position for 11 years in the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during much of World War II...

, George Marshall
George Marshall
George Catlett Marshall was an American military leader, Chief of Staff of the Army, Secretary of State, and the third Secretary of Defense...

 and Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger
Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

).

The now long-established terms "Department ..." and "Secretary of State" were preceded (for two months following the effective date of the Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

) by the
narrower title Secretary of Foreign Affairs
United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs
The United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs was a position that existed in the United States government from January 10, 1781, to September 15, 1789.-History:...

 and the corresponding departmental name; the change reflected the addition of some miscellaneous domestic responsibilities.

The position is widely regarded as the most senior in the Cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

. In the presidential line of succession
United States presidential line of succession
The United States presidential line of succession defines who may become or act as President of the United States upon the incapacity, death, resignation, or removal from office of a sitting president or a president-elect.- Current order :This is a list of the current presidential line of...

 the Secretary of State falls first among Cabinet officers, and fourth overall. The Secretary of State is also, in protocol
Protocol (diplomacy)
In international politics, protocol is the etiquette of diplomacy and affairs of state.A protocol is a rule which guides how an activity should be performed, especially in the field of diplomacy. In diplomatic services and governmental fields of endeavor protocols are often unwritten guidelines...

, the first Cabinet member in the order of precedence
United States order of precedence
The United States order of precedence lists the ceremonial order for domestic and foreign government officials, military and civic leaders at diplomatic, ceremonial, and social events within the United States and abroad. Former Presidents, Vice Presidents, First Ladies, Secretaries of State and...

, immediately preceding any former presidents and former first ladies, who are followed by the rest of the Cabinet.

President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 named Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the...

 as his choice for Secretary of State on December 1, 2008. She was confirmed on January 21, 2009, the day after Obama's inauguration. She is the third woman to hold the position.

Recent U.S. Secretaries of State


Listed by name followed by the year of their appointment
  • Alexander M. Haig: 1981
  • George P. Schultz: 1982
  • James A. Baker: 1989
  • Lawrence S. Eagleburger: 1992
  • Warren M. Christopher: 1993
  • Madeleine Albright
    Madeleine Albright
    Madeleine Korbelová Albright is the first woman to become a United States Secretary of State. She was appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99–0...

    : 1997
  • Colin Powell
    Colin Powell
    Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

    : 2001
  • Condoleezza Rice
    Condoleezza Rice
    Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

    : 2005
  • Hillary R. Clinton: 2009

U.S. States



In most of the individual states of the United States, the Secretary of State is an administrative officer responsible for certain governmental functions. The specific powers and duties of this office depend on the constitution and laws of the particular state, but they often include responsibility for overseeing elections within the state. In three states (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia), the position is called "[Secretary of the Commonwealth]". In Connecticut, this office is called the "Secretary of the State".