Under Secretary for Political Affairs
The Under Secretary for Political Affairs, William J. Burns is the Department's third-ranking official and its senior career diplomat. He serves as the day-to-day manager of overall regional and bilateral policy issues, and oversees the bureaus for Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, the Near East, South and Central Asia, the Western Hemisphere, International Organizations and International Narcotics and Law Enforcement.
The Assistant Secretaries of the geographic bureaus and offices advise the Under Secretary and guide the operation of the U.S. diplomatic missions within their regional jurisdiction. They are assisted by Deputy Assistant Secretaries, office directors, post management officers, and country desk officers. These officials work closely with U.S. embassies and consulates overseas and with foreign embassies in Washington, DC.
The Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO) develops and implements the policies of the U.S. Government within the United Nations and its affiliated agencies, as well as within certain other international organizations. The IO Bureau engages in what is known as multilateral diplomacy to promote and defend the many overlapping interests of the American people. The IO Bureau also promotes effective and efficient management within international organizations.
The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) advises the U.S. Government on the development of policies and programs to combat international narcotics and crime. INL programs support the Department's strategic goals of reducing the entry of illegal drugs into the United States and minimizing the impact of international crime on the United States and its citizens. Counternarcotics and anticrime programs also complement the war on terrorism by supporting foreign criminal justice systems and law enforcement agencies charged with the counter-terrorism mission.