The title secretary of state
or state secretary[note 1]
is commonly used for senior or mid-level posts in governments
around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple secretaries of state
in the government.
In the Orange Free State
(1854–1902) the Secretary of State was the original 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
, the parliament of the Orange Free State
. 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.
Portuguese-speaking African countries
In Mozambique, the role of vice-minister (Portuguese
) exists as an intermediate government rank between those of minister and Secretary of State. The role of vice-minister also exists in the Government of Angola, but it is junior to that of Secretary of State.
South African Republic
, from 1847 until 1972, the Secretary of State was the head of the Department of State and the chief foreign policy officer of the republic, responsible for conducting diplomacy and implementing the nation's foreign affairs. The title was abolished in 1972 and replaced with the new nomenclature, Minister of Foreign Affairs
. Throughout most of Liberia's history, holders of that office usually went on to become president.
The Secretary of State (Secretario de Estado) in Argentina
(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).
, a Secretary of State (Portuguese
: secretário de Estado
or secretário estadual
) – commonly referred simply as "Secretary" (Portuguese
) is one of the government members of each of the Brazilian states
, subordinate to the respective State Governor
. At state level, the Brazilian secretaries of State have functions similar to those of the Ministers of the Federal Government
At federal level, the officer responsible for foreign affairs, a position equivalent to that of the United States Secretary of State, is the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Canadian Cabinet
used to have a Secretary of State for External Affairs
who acted as the country's Foreign Minister
, but this position was abolished in 1993 and a new position of Minister of Foreign Affairs
was created. From 1867 to 1993, there was also a Secretary of State for Canada
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
, 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
, however Ministers are members of the cabinet.
In the United States federal
government, "Secretary of State" refers to the official responsible for executing the non-military and non-homeland security aspects of foreign policy, the analogue of the foreign secretary or foreign minister
of a country that has one or the other. The U.S. secretary of state is head of the United States Department of State
. He or she is responsible for the administration of United States embassies and their subsidiary units throughout the world.
The U.S. secretary of state has the power to remove any foreign diplomat from U.S. soil for any reason.
The now long-established terms "Department ..." and "Secretary of State" were preceded (for two months following the effective date of the Constitution
) by the narrower title Secretary of Foreign Affairs
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
. In the presidential line of succession
the secretary of state falls first among Cabinet officers, and fourth overall. The secretary of state is also, in protocol
, the first Cabinet member in the order of precedence
, immediately preceding any former presidents and former first ladies, who are followed by the rest of the Cabinet.
President Barack Obama
named Hillary Clinton
as his choice for 67th secretary of state
on 1 December 2008. She was confirmed on 21 January 2009, the day after Obama's inauguration and is the third woman to hold the position.
On 21 December 2012 President Obama announced his choice for secretary of state during his second term, Senator John Kerry
. His confirmation hearing took place on 24 January 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The committee unanimously voted to approve him on 29 January 2013, and the same day the full Senate confirmed him on a vote of 94–3. On 1 February 2013, Hillary Clinton
resigned as Secretary of State and John Kerry
was sworn in as the 68th secretary of state
, the Minister-Secretary of State (Menteri Sekretaris Negara
) is a Government official of Ministerial rank who heads the Ministry of State Secretariat. The Minister-Secretary of State gives technical and administrative assistance to the President
and Vice President
in running State affairs. In the President's case, the Minister-Secretary of State also provides assistance for the President in his role as Commander-in-chief of Indonesian National Armed Forces
. 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
and/or Governmental regulations.
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. Al-Sabah is a member of the cabinet of ministers, and reports directly to Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
, The Emir of Kuwait. He is also in charge of all the diplomatic representatives in Kuwait
, Chief Secretary to the Government is the Malaysian secretary of state.
However, every state in Malaysia have their own State Secretary, except federal territories. Secretary of State is the member of the State Executive Council, appointed by the Governor
) or the Sultan
(except in Negeri Sembilan
, appointed by the Yang DiPertuan Besar
; and Perlis
, appointed by the (Raja of Perlis). The State Secretary is the head of the public service in his/her state.
Following the Portuguese model
, in the Government of Timor-Leste
, a Secretary of State (Sekretáriu Estadu
, Secretário de Estado
) is a junior minister, subordinate to a cabinet minister. Despite being members of the Government, the Secretaries of State usually do not participate in the Council of Ministers, unless they are specially summoned for and, in this case, without right to vote.
A state secretary (Finnish
), is the highest official below each minister. Ministers, who lead ministries (government departments), comprise the Finnish Government
. Each state secretary 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 state secretaries, who were permanently appointed. One such example is Raimo Sailas
, a Secretary of State (Secrétaire d'État
) is a junior minister, responsible to a minister or the Prime Minister. It is not to be confused with the Minister of State
title given to a senior French cabinet minister of particular importance.
The German Staatssekretär
is a Beamter
(civil servant) who is second only to the minister in a state or federal ministry, so the position is equivalent to that of Permanent secretary
in the United Kingdom, not Secretary of State
. While officially it is not a political office, often it is assigned by appointment based on political criteria such as party affiliation, rather than by career progression as a civil servant. Nevertheless, they are 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.
A special case is the Parliamentary State Secretary
), which is a member of parliament who is appointed to a ministry as a Staatssekretär
; in the German Foreign Office
and the German Chancellery
the official title is Staatsminister
(Minister of State
). 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 during an investigation into visa abuse
, Ludger Volmer
claimed that he had been cut off from the workflow within the ministry, and called the Staatsminister
office an "Unding
In Greece, the title "Secretary of State" (Greek
: Γραμματεύς της Επικρατείας) was used only intermittently during the early years of the modern Greek state
. It was first employed for the head of the cabinet under the governorship of Ioannis Kapodistrias
, a post held successively by Spyridon Trikoupis
(1828–29) and Nikolaos Spiliadis
(1829–31). It was then abandoned, until used instead of the title of "Minister" (Υπουργός) for the cabinet members in the 1835–37 Cabinet of Josef Ludwig von Armansperg
, with Armansperg being designated "Chief Secretary of State" (Αρχιγραμματεύς της Επικρατείας).
Secretaries of State (French
: secrétaire d'Etat
) 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
, 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.
As in France and Belgium, a State Secretary
in the Netherlands is a junior minister who is responsible to a Cabinet Minister or the Prime Minister. Some of them may, in specific circumstances, call themselves Minister when visiting a foreign country.
The top civil servant in a government department is called Secretary-General (secretaris-generaal).
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
and the only minister is constitutionally responsible for all the statssekretær'
s decisions in office.
, a secretary of State (Portuguese
: secretário de Estado
, masculine; secretária de Estado
, feminine; secretários de Estado
, plural) is a junior minister, of intermediate rank between that of cabinet minister and that of under-secretary of State. Although having the Constitutional status of Government members
, the secretaries of State do not usually participate in the Council of Ministers
, unless summoned for certain meetings and, in those cases, without right to vote. They act merely as deputies of ministers, having only the powers delegated to them by their ministers or directly by the Prime Minister
Until the reorganization of the Portuguese Public Administration structure in 2004, it was common for a secretary of State to be in charge of a secretariat of State (Portuguese
: secretaria de Estado
), a Government department with a status below that of a ministry. A secretariat of State could be organized as a division of a ministry or occasionally be directly subordinate to the Prime Minister. For example, from 1987 to 1995, a Secretariat of State for the Culture existed directly subordinate to the Prime Minister. Despite this type of departament no longer officially existing in the organization of the Portuguese Government, it is still common usage for the portfolio of a secretary of State to be colloquially referred to as a "secretariat of State".
Historically, since the 17th century, the title of "secretary of State" was used to designate the heads of the Government departments of Portugal. In the 19th century, the title of "minister" started to be used, the official complete title of each of the ministers becoming "minister and secretary of State of a given portfolio" until the end of the Monarchy in 1910
. From them on, the title "minister" completely replaced that of "secretary of State" (with the exception of the brief presidential system
that existed during 1918, in which the ministers were re-titled "secretaries of State"). In 1958, the title of "secretary of State" was reintroduced to designate the then created role of a junior minister, subordinate to a cabinet minister.
The position of State Secretary existed during certain periods of time. It exists now.
In the Republic 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
From 1715 to 1834 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
, a State Secretary (Swedish
) is a political appointee, second in rank to the Minister (Swedish
) 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
. For historical reasons, the State Secretary in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs
has another title (Swedish
, in English literally "Cabinet Secretary"). 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.
In the Kingdom of England
, before 1660, an officer entitled Secretary of State
came into being near the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I
(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 of state.
The United Kingdom
was formed by the union of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland
in 1801. By a gradual process between then and the 1960s, most of the ministers of the British cabinet became secretaries of state.
In the United Kingdom, a secretary of state is a senior minister
, normally in charge of a government department
. Secretaries of state are appointed directly by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, and are responsible, along with other Cabinet members, for the collective government of the United Kingdom. There are a number of secretaries of state, each of whom are formally titled "Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for ...
"; legislation generally refers only to "the Secretary of State".
This and many other government and judiciary titles are often capitalized in government documents in violation of the much more common rule in English to capitalize titles only before a name, when it in fact becomes part of the name. Therefore lowercase spelling is the first or only variant recorded in some major dictionaries such as the American Heritage Dictionary
, the Oxford Online Dictionaries
, and the Random House Dictionary
- ^ "Frequently asked questions – Office of the Historian". Office of the Historian, United States Department of State. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- ^ "Etaiwannews.com". Etaiwannews.com. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- ^ Federal government of Belgium
- ^ Riigisekretäri ülesanded (in Estonian)
- ^ a b Pope John Paul II (28 June 1988). "Pastor Bonus". The Holy See. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- ^ Pope John Paul II (22 February 1996). "Universi Dominici Gregis". The Holy See. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
- ^ Sainty, J. C. (1973). "Introduction". Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 2 - Officials of the Secretaries of State 1660-1782. British History Online. University of London. pp. 1–21. At the Restoration [in 1660] the practice of appointing two Secretaries of State, which was well established before the Civil War, was resumed. Apart from the modifications which were made necessary by the occasional existence of a third secretaryship, the organisation of the secretariat underwent no fundamental change from that time until the reforms of 1782 which resulted in the emergence of the Home and Foreign departments. ... English domestic affairs remained the responsibility of both Secretaries throughout the period. In the field of foreign affairs there was a division into a Northern and a Southern Department, each of which was the responsibility of one Secretary. The distinction between the two departments emerged only gradually. It was not until after 1689 that their names passed into general currency. Nevertheless the division of foreign business itself can, in its broad outlines, be detected in the early years of the reign of Charles II. ... The first question to be considered in the light of the memorandum of 1684 is the origin of the office of Under Secretary. It should be emphasised in this connection that the term 'Under Secretary', although found in use as early as 1672, (fn. 28) passed only gradually into general currency.
- ^ "Draft Cabinet Manual" (PDF). Cabinet Office. 14 December 2010. p. 42. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2011.
Last edited on 11 May 2021, at 07:09
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