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Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs

Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs

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The Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs (T) is a position within the U.S. Department of State that serves as Senior Adviser to the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 and the 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...

 for Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament. In this capacity, the Under Secretary attends and participates, at the direction of the President, in National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

 (NSC) and subordinate meetings pertaining to arms control
Arms control
Arms control is an umbrella term for restrictions upon the development, production, stockpiling, proliferation, and usage of weapons, especially weapons of mass destruction...

, nonproliferation, and disarmament
Disarmament
Disarmament is the act of reducing, limiting, or abolishing weapons. Disarmament generally refers to a country's military or specific type of weaponry. Disarmament is often taken to mean total elimination of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear arms...

 and has the right to communicate, through the Secretary of State, with the President and members of the NSC on arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament concerns. Robert G. Joseph was the Under Secretary until his resignation in January 2007. On March 18, 2009, Ellen Tauscher
Ellen Tauscher
Ellen O'Kane Tauscher is an American politician and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs...

 announced that she had accepted 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...

's nomination to the position. She was confirmed by the Senate on June 25, 2009 and assumed office the following day, June 26, 2009.

The Under Secretary leads the interagency policy process on nonproliferation and manages global U.S. security policy
Security policy
Security policy is a definition of what it means to be secure for a system, organization or other entity. For an organization, it addresses the constraints on behavior of its members as well as constraints imposed on adversaries by mechanisms such as doors, locks, keys and walls...

, principally in the areas of nonproliferation, arms control, regional security and defense relations, and arms transfers and security assistance. The Under Secretary provides policy direction in the following areas: nonproliferation, including the missile
Missile
Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

 and nuclear areas, as well as chemical, biological, and conventional weapons proliferation; arms control, including negotiation, ratification, verification and compliance, and implementation of agreements on strategic, non-conventional, and conventional forces; regional security and defense relations, involving policy regarding U.S. security commitments worldwide as well as on the use of U.S. military forces in unilateral or international peacekeeping
Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 roles; and arms transfers and security assistance programs and arms transfer policies.

By delegation from the Secretary, the Under Secretary performs a range of functions under the Foreign Assistance Act
Foreign Assistance Act
The Foreign Assistance Act is a United States Act of Congress. The Act reorganized the structure of existing U.S. foreign assistance programs, separated military from non-military aid, and created a new agency, the United States Agency for International Development to administer those...

, Arms Export Control Act
Arms Export Control Act
The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 gives the President of the United States the authority to control the import and export of defense articles and defense services. It requires governments that receive weapons from the United States to use them for legitimate self-defense...

, and related legislation. The Bureaus of International Security and Nonproliferation
Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
The Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation is a bureau within the United States Department of State responsible for managing a broad range of nonproliferation and counterproliferation functions. The bureau leads U.S...

 and Political-Military Affairs
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is an agency within the United States Department of State that bridges the Department of State with the Department of Defense. It provides policy in the areas of international security, security assistance, military operations, defense strategy and policy,...

 are under the policy oversight of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security. By statute, the Assistant Secretary for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation
Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation
The Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance is the head of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance...

 reports to the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security.

According to the Office of the Historian of the U.S. Department of State, the Under Secretary first received the permanent title "Senior Adviser to the President and the Secretary of State for Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament" when the Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 administration decided to merge the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
The U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency was established as an independent agency of the United States government by the Arms Control and Disarmament Act , September 26, 1961, a bill drafted by presidential adviser John J. McCloy. Its predecessor was the U.S. Disarmament Administration, part...

 and the United States Information Agency
United States Information Agency
The United States Information Agency , which existed from 1953 to 1999, was a United States agency devoted to "public diplomacy". In 1999, USIA's broadcasting functions were moved to the newly created Broadcasting Board of Governors, and its exchange and non-broadcasting information functions were...

 into the State Department, as well as realigning the United States Agency for International Development
United States Agency for International Development
The United States Agency for International Development is the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. President John F. Kennedy created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas...

 with it.

List of Under Secretaries of State for International Security Affairs, 1972—1993

Name Assumed Office Left Office President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 served under
Curtis W. Tarr
Curtis W. Tarr
Curtis William Tarr was the seventh dean of the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and the twelfth president of Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Tarr took his B.A. from Leland Stanford Jr. University, his M.B.A. from Harvard University and returned to...

May 2, 1972 November 25, 1973 Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

William H. Donaldson
William H. Donaldson
William Henry Donaldson was the 27th Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission , serving from February 2003 to June 2005...

November 26, 1973 May 10, 1974 Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

Carlyle E. Maw
Carlyle E. Maw
Carlyle Elwood Maw was Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs from July 10, 1974 to September 17, 1976. Born in Provo, Utah, he graduated from Brigham Young University and from Harvard Law School....

July 10, 1974 September 17, 1976 Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

Lucy W. Benson
Lucy W. Benson
Lucy Wilson Benson was United States Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs from 1977 to 1980. When Benson was named to this post, it was the highest position ever held by a woman in the United States Department of State.-References:...

March 28, 1977 January 5, 1980 Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

Matthew Nimetz
Matthew Nimetz
Matthew Nimetz is an American diplomat.He is the United Nations Special Representative for the naming dispute between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia....

February 21, 1980 December 5, 1980 Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

James L. Buckley
James L. Buckley
James Lane Buckley is a retired judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and previously served as a United States Senator from the state of New York as a member of the Conservative Party of New York from January 3, 1971 to January 3, 1977...

February 28, 1981 August 20, 1982 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

William Schneider, Jr.
William Schneider, Jr.
William J. Schneider, Jr. is an American who has served in a number of prominent federal government positions.Schneider served as Under-Secretary of State in the Reagan administration, and later became a member of the Project for the New American Century...

September 9, 1982 October 31, 1986 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

Ed Derwinski
Ed Derwinski
Edward Joseph Derwinski is an American politician who served as the first Cabinet-level United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, serving under President George H. W. Bush from March 15, 1989 to September 26, 1992...

March 24, 1987 January 21, 1989 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

Reginald Bartholomew
Reginald Bartholomew
Reginald Bartholomew is an American diplomat and former United States Ambassador to Lebanon , Spain , and Italy . He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a former member of the United States National Security Council...

April 20, 1989 July 7, 1992 George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

Frank G. Wisner
Frank G. Wisner
Frank George Wisner II is an American businessman and former diplomat. He is the son of Frank Wisner . On 31 January 2011, he was sent to Egypt by President Barack Obama to negotiate a resolution to the popular protests against the regime that have swept the country...

July 20, 1992 January 19, 1993 George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...


List of Under Secretaries of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, 1993—Present

Name Assumed Office Left Office President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 served under
Lynn Etheridge Davis April 1, 1993 August 8, 1997 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

John D. Holum
John D. Holum
John D. Holum was Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security under Bill Clinton.-Biography:...

August 7, 2000 December 1, 2001 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

John R. Bolton
John R. Bolton
John Robert Bolton is an American lawyer and diplomat who has served in several Republican presidential administrations. He served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from August 2005 until December 2006 on a recess appointment...

May 11, 2001 July 31, 2005 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

Robert Joseph
Robert Joseph
Robert G. Joseph is a senior scholar at the National Institute for Public Policy and professor at Missouri State University. He was the United States Special Envoy for Nuclear Nonproliferation, with ambassadorial rank. Prior to this post, Dr...

June 1, 2005 March 2, 2007 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

John Rood
John Rood
John C. Rood was Acting Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 13, 2006 as Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation....

September 26, 2007 January 20, 2009 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

Ellen Tauscher
Ellen Tauscher
Ellen O'Kane Tauscher is an American politician and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs...

June 26, 2009 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...


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