Deputy Secretary of State of the United States of America
Seal of the Department of State
Flag of the Deputy Secretary of State
Incumbent
Wendy Sherman

since April 14, 2021
Department of State
Reports toThe United States Secretary of State
SeatWashington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthNo fixed term
FormationJuly 13, 1972
First holderJohn N. Irwin II
SalaryExecutive Schedule, Level 2
WebsiteOfficial website

The Deputy Secretary of State of the United States is the principal deputy to the secretary of state. The current deputy Secretary of State is Wendy Ruth Sherman, serving since April 2021 under secretary of state Antony Blinken.[1] If the secretary of state resigns or dies, the deputy secretary of state becomes acting secretary of state until the President nominates and the Senate confirms a replacement. The position was created in 1972. Prior to July 13, 1972, the Under Secretary of State had been the second ranking officer of the Department of State. The position was most recently held by Stephen Biegun.

The State Department is the only federal Cabinet-level agency that had two co-equal Deputy Secretaries in its history. The second Deputy Secretary of State, the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, served as the "first assistant" for the purposes of the Vacancies Reform Act, but both deputy secretaries had full delegated authority to act for the secretary, if not otherwise prohibited by law. They are listed with a "B" designation, below, during the years of President Barack Obama, under Secretary Hillary Clinton and Secretary John Kerry. These Deputies were Jack Lew, who, after almost two years at the State Department, left to become Obama's Chief of Staff and then later Treasury Secretary in 2013;[2] Thomas Nides, who had only pledged 2 years of service and then subsequently returned to be the chief operating officer at Morgan Stanley;[3][4] and Heather Higginbottom, who filled out Barack Obama's second term under Secretary Kerry as the first female Deputy Secretary of State.[5][6] This practice was ended under President Donald Trump.

Certain Deputy Secretaries of State went on to become appointed as the Secretary of State, such as Warren Christopher in 1992[7] and Lawrence Eagleburger in 1993 under President William Jefferson Clinton,[8] and Antony Blinken, as the Secretary of State under President Joseph Biden in 2021.[9]

List of deputy secretaries of state

# Portrait Name Term began Term ended President(s) served under
1
John N. Irwin II July 13, 1972 February 1, 1973 Richard Nixon
2
Kenneth Rush February 2, 1973 May 29, 1974
3
Robert S. Ingersoll July 10, 1974 March 31, 1976
Gerald Ford
4
Charles W. Robinson April 9, 1976 January 20, 1977
5
Warren Christopher February 26, 1977 January 16, 1981 Jimmy Carter
6
William P. Clark Jr. February 25, 1981 February 9, 1982 Ronald Reagan
7
Walter J. Stoessel Jr. February 11, 1982 September 22, 1982
8
Kenneth W. Dam September 23, 1982 June 15, 1985
9
John C. Whitehead July 9, 1985 January 20, 1989
10
Lawrence Eagleburger January 20, 1989 December 8, 1992 George H. W. Bush
11
Clifton R. Wharton Jr. January 27, 1993 November 8, 1993 Bill Clinton
12
Strobe Talbott February 22, 1994 January 19, 2001
13
Richard Armitage March 26, 2001 February 22, 2005 George W. Bush
14
Robert Zoellick February 22, 2005 July 7, 2006
15
John Negroponte February 13, 2007 January 28, 2009
16A
James Steinberg January 28, 2009 July 28, 2011 Barack Obama
16B
Jack Lew January 28, 2009 November 18, 2010
17B
Thomas R. Nides January 3, 2011 December 19, 2013
17A
William J. Burns July 28, 2011 November 3, 2014
18B
Heather Higginbottom December 20, 2013 January 20, 2017
Wendy Sherman
Acting
November 3, 2014 January 9, 2015
18A
Antony Blinken January 9, 2015 January 20, 2017
Thomas A. Shannon Jr.
Acting
February 1, 2017 May 24, 2017 Donald Trump
19
John J. Sullivan May 24, 2017 December 20, 2019
20
Stephen Biegun December 21, 2019 January 20, 2021
21
Wendy Sherman April 14, 2021 Incumbent Joe Biden

References

  1. ^ "1 FAM 030 Office of the Deputy Secretary of State (D)". U.S. Department of State. April 9, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  2. ^ "Jacob J. Lew Confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury". U.S. Department of Treasury. February 27, 2013. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  3. ^ Tapper, J. (January 22, 2013). "Deputy Secretary of State Nides stepping down". CNN. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  4. ^ Kamen, A. (February 26, 2013). "Tom Nides back at Morgan Stanley as vice chairman". Washington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  5. ^ "Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources". U.S. Department of State. July 13, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  6. ^ Lopez, J. (December 18, 2013). "Alumna Becomes First Female Deputy Secretary of State". George Washington University. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  7. ^ "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Warren Minor Christopher (1925–2011)". U.S. Department of State. n.d. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  8. ^ "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Lawrence Sidney Eagleburger (1930–2011)". U.S. Department of State. n.d. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  9. ^ "Biographies of the Secretaries of State: Antony Blinken (1962–)". U.S. Department of State. n.d. Retrieved March 10, 2021.