Secretaries of State

Department of State SealThe First Congress created the position of Secretary of State in July 1789, as the principal officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The secretary was to perform such duties as the president required, in accordance with the Constitution (Article II, Section 2, Clauses 1-2), relating to correspondence, commission, or instructions to U.S. ministers or consuls abroad, and to conduct negotiations with foreign representatives. The secretary also has served as principal adviser to the president in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy and in recent decades has become responsible for overall direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities of the U.S. Government overseas, except for certain military activities.

In September, 1789, Congress changed the name of the Department of Foreign Affairs to the Department of State. A number of domestic duties were then assigned to the Department, but most of those were later reassigned to other agencies.

Began Service
Ended Service
Secretary
Residence
Administration
Mar 22, 1790
Dec 31, 1793
Thomas Jefferson Virginia Washington
Jan 2, 1794
Aug 20, 1795
Edmund Randolph Virginia Washington
Dec 10, 1795
May 12, 1800
Timothy Pickering Pennsylvania Washington
Adams
Jun 6, 1800
Feb 4, 1801
John Marshall Virginia Adams
May 2, 1801
Mar 3, 1809
James Madison Virginia Jefferson
Mar 6, 1809
Apr 1, 1811
Robert Smith Maryland Madison
Apr 6, 1811
Sep 30, 1814
James Monroe Virginia Madison
Feb 28, 1815
Mar 3, 1817
James Monroe Virginia Madison
Sep 22, 1817
Mar 3, 1825
John Quincy Adams Massachusetts Monroe
Mar 7, 1825
Mar 3, 1829
Henry Clay Kentucky J.Q. Adams
Mar 28, 1829
Mar 23, 1831
Martin Van Buren New York Jackson
May 24, 1831
May 29, 1833
Edward Livingston Louisiana Jackson
May 29, 1833
Jun 30, 1834
Louis McLane Delaware Jackson
Jul 1, 1834
Mar 3, 1841
John Forsyth Georgia Jackson
Van Buren
Mar 6, 1841
May 8, 1843
Daniel Webster Massachusetts W.H. Harrison
Tyler
Jul 24, 1843
Feb 28, 1844
Abel P. Upshur Virginia Tyler
Apr 1, 1844
Mar 10, 1845
John C. Calhoun South Carolina Tyler
Mar 10, 1845
Mar 7, 1849
James Buchanan Pennsylvania Polk
Mar 8, 1849
Jul 22, 1850
John M. Clayton Delaware Taylor
Fillmore
Jul 23, 1850
Oct 24, 1852
Daniel Webster Massachusetts Fillmore
Nov 6, 1852
Mar 3, 1853
Edward Everett Massachusetts Fillmore
Mar 8, 1853
Mar 6, 1857
William L. Marcy New York Pierce
Mar 6, 1857
Dec 14, 1860
Lewis Cass Michigan Buchanan
Dec 17, 1860
Mar 5, 1861
Jeremiah S. Black Pennsylvania Buchanan
Mar 6, 1861
Mar 4, 1869
William H. Seward New York Lincoln
A. Johnson
Mar 5, 1869
Mar 16, 1869
Elihu B. Washburne Illinois Grant
Mar 17, 1869
Mar 12, 1877
Hamilton Fish New York Grant
Mar 12, 1877
Mar 7, 1881
William M. Evarts New York Hayes
Mar 7, 1881
Dec 19, 1881
James G. Blaine Maine Garfield
Arthur
Dec 19, 1881
Mar 6, 1885
Frederick T. Frelinghuysen New Jersey Arthur
Mar 7, 1885
Mar 6, 1889
Thomas F. Bayard Delaware Cleveland
Mar 7, 1889
Jun 4, 1892
James G. Blaine Maine B. Harrison
Jun 29, 1892
Feb 23, 1893
John W. Foster Indiana B. Harrison
Mar 7, 1893
May 28, 1895
Walter Q. Gresham Illinois Cleveland
Jun 10, 1895
Mar 5, 1897
Richard Olney Massachusetts Cleveland
Mar 6, 1897
Apr 27, 1898
John Sherman Ohio McKinley
Apr 28, 1898
Sep 16, 1898
William R. Day Ohio McKinley
Sep 30, 1898
Jul 5, 1905
John Hay Wash., D.C. McKinley
T. Roosevelt
Jul 19, 1905
Jan 27, 1909
Elihu Root New York T. Roosevelt
Jan 27, 1909
Mar 5, 1909
Robert Bacon New York T. Roosevelt
Mar 6, 1909
Mar 5, 1913
Philander C. Knox Pennsylvania Taft
Mar 5, 1913
Jan 9, 1915
William Jennings Bryan Nebraska Wilson
Jun 24, 1915
Feb 13, 1920
Robert Lansing New York Wilson
Mar 23, 1920
Mar 4, 1921
Bainbridge Colby New York Wilson
Mar 5, 1921
Mar 4, 1925
Charles Evans Hughes New York Harding
Coolidge
Mar 5, 1925
Mar 28, 1929
Frank B. Kellogg Minnesota Coolidge
Mar 28, 1929
Mar 4, 1933
Henry Lewis Stimson New York Hoover
Mar 4, 1933
Nov 30, 1944
Cordell Hull Tennessee F. Roosevelt
Dec 1, 1944
Jun 27, 1945
Edward R. Stettinius Jr. Virginia F. Roosevelt
Truman
Jul 3, 1945
Jan 21, 1947
James F. Byrnes South Carolina Truman
Jan 21, 1947
Jan 20, 1949
George C. Marshall Pennsylvania Truman
Jan 21, 1949
Jan 20, 1953
Dean Acheson Maryland Truman
Jan 21, 1953
Apr 22, 199
John Foster Dulles New York Eisenhower
Apr 22, 1959
Jan 20, 1961
Christian A. Herter Massachusetts Eisenhower
Jan 21, 1961
Jan 20, 1969
Dean Rusk New York Kennedy
L. Johnson
Jan 22, 1969
Sep 3, 1973
William P. Rogers Maryland Nixon
Sep 22, 1973
Jan 20, 1977
Henry A. Kissinger Wash., D.C. Nixon
Ford
Jan 23, 1977
Apr 28, 1980
Cyrus Vance New York Carter
May 8, 1980
Jan 18, 1981
Edmund Sixtus Muskie Maine Carter
Jan 22, 1981
Jul 5, 1982
Alexander M. Haig Jr. Connecticut Reagan
Jul 16, 1982
Jan 20, 1989
George P. Shultz California Reagan
Jan 25, 1989
Aug 23, 1992
James A. Baker, III Texas G.H.W. Bush
Dec 8, 1992
Jan 19, 1993
Lawrence Eagleburger Florida G.H.W. Bush
Jan 20, 1993
Jan 17, 1997
Warren M. Christopher California Clinton
Jan 23, 1997
Jan 19, 2001
Madeleine K. Albright Wash., D.C. Clinton
Jan 20, 2001
Jan 27, 2005
Colin L. Powell Virginia G.W. Bush
Jan 27, 2005
-
Condoleeza Rice California G.W. Bush

NOTE: The beginning date of service is the date the secretary actually assumed office. Especially in the early years, a gap often existed between the appointment date and the actual occupation of office on account of the slowness in travel.

Some secretaries were appointed during congressional recesses. When the Congress reconvened, it would recommission the secretary at a later date than the one cited for the beginning of service.

Individuals who headed the Department of State during temporary vacancies are known as secretaries of state ad interim and are not included in this list.

See cabinet officers sorted by administration.

- - - Books You May Like Include: ----

John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, a Private Life by Paul C. Nagel.
John Quincy Adams was raised, educated, and groomed to be President, following in the footsteps of his father, John. At fourteen he was secretary to t...
Madam Secretary: A Memoir by Madeleine Albright.
When she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be his Secretary of State, Madelein Albright became the highest-ranking woman in American history ...