What Does the Department of State Do?

The Department of State, part of the United States executive office, is tasked with handling foreign affairs for the president of the United States. The Secretary of State is a member of the president's cabinet and his principal foreign policy adviser.

The Department of State implements the president's foreign affairs policies, advancing U.S. interests abroad. It handles management and budgeting for U.S. embassies and consulates, looks for markets to open abroad, works to stabilize developing nations, and works with the United Nations and other international agencies to address global problems like disease and terrorism. It also issues passports and visas, and ensures U.S. citizens and businesses are protected and assisted when abroad.