Foreign Affairs Agencies

United States Department of State

The U.S. Department of State is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for international relations with other countries, equivalent to the ministry of foreign affairs of other countries. Created in 1789, it was the first executive department established.

American diplomacy in the 21st century is based on fundamental beliefs: our freedom is best protected by ensuring that others are free; our prosperity depends on the prosperity of others; and our security relies on a global effort to secure the rights of all.   Thus, the State Department’s mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere. This mission is shared with the USAID, ensuring we have a common path forward in partnership as we invest in the shared security and prosperity that will ultimately better prepare us for the challenges of tomorrow.

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United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was created by President John F. Kennedy by executive order in 1961 to support the goals of ending extreme global poverty, and enabling resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.

U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America’s interests while improving lives in the developing world. USAID carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.

Spending less than 1 percent of the total federal budget, USAID works in over 100 countries.

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U.S. Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS)

The Foreign Commercial Service (FCS), formerly known as the U.S. Commercial Service, is the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. U.S. Commercial Service trade professionals in over 100 U.S. cities and in more than 75 countries help U.S. companies get started in exporting or increasing sales to new global markets.

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Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. FAS links U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security.

In addition to its Washington, D.C. staff, FAS has a global network of  96 offices covering 167  countries. These offices are staffed by agricultural attachés and locally hired agricultural experts who are the eyes, ears,  and voice for U.S. agriculture around the world. FAS staff identify problems, provide practical solutions,  and work to advance opportunities for U.S. agriculture and support U.S. foreign policy around the globe.

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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one of the lesser known members of the foreign affairs community, has the mission of protecting the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multi-faceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues.

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Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is both the name of the federal agency responsible for oversight of all U.S. civilian international media, and the name of the board that governs those broadcasts. The BBG’s mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. The international broadcasting programs overseen by BBG include, Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio and TV Marti, Radio Free Asia, and Alhurra TV/Radio Sawa.

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