“We use diplomacy to defend … unalienable rights, not just for Americans, but for people all across the world,” says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The agency he leads, created in 1789 as the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs and since renamed the U.S. Department of State, advises the president on foreign matters and negotiates agreements with foreign countries.
The first secretary of state, Thomas Jefferson, portrayed here, had a staff of four clerks, a translator and a messenger, as well as two diplomatic posts (London and Paris) and 10 consular posts.
Today, 75,000 State Department employees serve in 277 countries and at the United Nations.
This reproduction is from a portrait by Gilbert Stuart that hangs in Monticello, the Charlottesville, Virginia, home of Jefferson. A prolific artist, Stuart stripped extraneous background details from his portraits of American leaders in order to highlight the men themselves.
Stuart was “the most authoritative painter of faces in America” and “instinctively perceived what an American portrait should be,” according to art historian Eleanor Pearson DeLorme.
Download the poster and commemorate 230 years of American diplomacy.