"Congress established the U.S. Department of State in 1789, replacing the Department of Foreign Affairs, which was established in 1781. The Department of State is the lead institution for the conduct of American diplomacy, and promotes and protects the interests of American citizens by:Promoting peace and stability in regions of vital interest;
Creating jobs at home by opening markets abroad;
Helping developing nations establish investment and export opportunities;
Bringing nations together to address global problems such as cross-border pollution, the spread of communicable diseases, terrorism, nuclear smuggling, and humanitarian crises.
At our headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Department’s mission is carried out through six regional bureaus – each of which is responsible for a specific geographic region of the world, the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and numerous functional and management bureaus. These bureaus provide policy guidance, program management, administrative support, and in-depth expertise in matters such as law enforcement, economics, the environment, intelligence, arms control, human rights, counternarcotics, counterterrorism, public diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, security, nonproliferation, consular services, and other areas.."
"Agency Financial Report Fiscal Year 2008," www.state.gov (accessed Apr. 30, 2009)