The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, which is responsible for foreign affairs. The Secretary of State is appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate. The current Secretary of State is Antony J. Blinken, who was sworn in on January 26, 2021¹.
The Secretary of State is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser and carries out the President’s foreign policies through the State Department, which includes the Foreign Service, Civil Service, and U.S. Agency for International Development¹. The Secretary of State is responsible for conducting negotiations relating to U.S. foreign affairs, negotiating treaties and agreements with foreign entities on behalf of the United States, and representing the United States at the United Nations and other international organizations¹. The Secretary of State is also responsible for advising the President on the appointment of U.S. ambassadors, ministers, consuls, and other diplomatic representatives¹. Additionally, the Secretary of State ensures the protection of the U.S. Government to American citizens, property, and interests in foreign countries¹. The Secretary of State also provides information to American citizens regarding the political, economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian conditions in foreign countries¹.
Antony John Blinken is the 71st United States Secretary of State, serving as the head of the United States Department of State, which is responsible for foreign affairs. He was born on April 16, 1962, in Yonkers, New York, to Jewish parents. His mother was Judith (née Frehm) Blinken and his father was Donald M. Blinken, who later served as the U.S. ambassador to Hungary. His maternal grandparents were Hungarian Jews. Blinken’s uncle, Alan Blinken, served as the U.S. ambassador to Belgium. His paternal grandfather, Maurice Henry Blinken, was a survivor of the Holocaust.
Blinken served in the State Department and in senior positions on the National Security Council from 1994 to 2001 during the Clinton administration. He was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2001 to 2002. He advocated for the 2003 invasion of Iraq while serving as the Democratic staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2002 to 2008. From 2009 to 2013, Blinken served as deputy assistant to the president and national security advisor to the vice president. During his tenure in the Obama administration, he helped craft U.S. policy on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the nuclear program of Iran. After leaving government service, Blinken co-founded WestExec Advisors, a consulting firm. He returned to government first as a foreign policy advisor for Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, then as Biden’s pick for secretary of state, a position the Senate confirmed him for on January 26, 2021.
Antony John Blinken’s extensive experience in the State Department and National Security Council, as well as his work as a foreign policy advisor for three U.S. presidential administrations, has equipped him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field of foreign affairs. During his tenure in the Obama administration, he played a key role in crafting U.S. policy on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the nuclear program of Iran. Blinken’s background as a lawyer and diplomat has also influenced his work as Secretary of State. His legal background has helped him navigate complex legal issues related to foreign policy, while his diplomatic experience has enabled him to build relationships with foreign leaders and negotiate on behalf of the United States.
Antony John Blinken is a strong advocate of multilateralism and international cooperation. He believes that the United States should work with its allies and within international treaties and organizations on every major foreign policy issue, including terrorism, climate, pandemics, trade, China, and the Iran nuclear deal². Blinken has also been a vocal critic of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and backing for separatists in Ukraine, and has advocated for a tough stance on Russia³. He has stated that the United States should engage China from a position of strength, which requires working with allies and partners, not denigrating them¹.