Mike Pompeo speaking on phone (State Dept./Ron Przysucha)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to an Australian journalist by phone in August 2019. He also uses social media to reach people around the world. (State Dept./Ron Przysucha)

From the era of print newspapers to the digital age, communications have changed dramatically. With each advance, U.S. secretaries of state must adapt to communicate their foreign-policy decisions to the American people and to people in other countries.

In recent years, technology has advanced at a dizzying pace, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has embraced 21st-century social media tools. In 2019, under Pompeo’s leadership, the State Department merged two bureaus to more effectively engage with domestic and foreign audiences.

Here are a few highlights that show how several secretaries have initiated the use of new communications methods:

Graphic showing history of secretaries of state communication efforts (State Dept.)