At official state dinners, the Secretary of State is the first Cabinet member to sit next to the President, immediately preceding any former Presidents and former First Ladies, who are followed by the rest of the Cabinet. The Secretary is responsible for managing the Department of State and all of its overseas missions, including some 67,000 employees in 2011. Global leadership is a strategic imperative for America, not a favor we do for other countries.


He or she travels around the world to build good relationships, advance American interests, and negotiate treaties and agreements on a vast range of issues.
If the President were to resign or die, the Secretary of State is fourth in line of succession after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House, and the President pro tempore of the Senate. In early American history, the position of Secretary was seen as a steppingstone to the Presidency.


It is the key to jobs, the fulcrum of our influence, and it matters – it really matters to the daily lives of Americans.



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