Good Governance

Illustration of woman in suit and glasses standing in courtroom with arms akimbo (State Dept./D. Thompson)

What does a public defender do in the U.S.?

Public defenders back criminal defendants in the U.S. who can't afford a private attorney and are at risk of going to prison. Learn how they came to be.
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Venezuela: Before and after [video]

Once, Venezuela was a democracy with a healthy economy. That's all changed since Nicolás Maduro took power. Learn more here.
Helicopter firing flares (© Chiang Ying-ying/AP Images)

U.S. reaffirms importance of Taiwan relationship

A senior State Department official emphasizes America's support for U.S.-Taiwan relations and military, economic and political cooperation.
Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr, sitting across from each other (© Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Voting Rights Act at 55

Prior to 1965, African Americans in the South were often blocked from voting. But an important law remedied that, and altered the U.S. political landscape.
A woman wearing medical clothing and protective gloves standing in front of Venezuelan flag (© Frederico Parra/AFP/Getty Images)

The path to democracy in Venezuela

Thanks to a democratic framework written by the U.S. government, Venezuelans finally have an outline to restore democracy.
Mike Pompeo and woman sitting next to flags and the State Department seal (State Dept./Freddie Everett)

Unalienable rights are central to who Americans are

Americans’ commitment to unalienable rights has proved a beacon of hope for those abroad pursuing their own liberties, Secretary Pompeo says.
Woman in wheelchair using voting booth (© Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)

U.S. laws help people with disabilities vote

The landmark Americans with Disabilities Act turns 30 on July 26. Learn how it revolutionized voting for citizens with disabilities.
Filing cabinet drawers full of file folders holding paper (© Shutterstock)

How anyone can request government records

In the United States, anyone can use the Freedom of Information Act to find out what the government is doing and how it's doing it.
Two U.S. maps, one with states sized according to their electoral votes (State Dept./J. Maruszewski; Images: © Shutterstock)

Understanding America’s Electoral College [infographic]

America’s Electoral College system is difficult to explain, but it has successfully enabled the election of presidents since the country’s founding.