Spokesperson for the United States Department of State

Spokesperson for the
United States Department of State

Seal of the United States Department of State
John Kirby

since May 12, 2015
Appointer The Secretary of State
Website Official Website

The Spokesperson for the United States Department of State is a U.S. government official whose primary responsibility is to serve as the spokesperson for the United States Department of State and the U.S. government's foreign policies. The position is located in the Bureau of Public Affairs.[1]

Historically, the State Department Spokesperson and the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs were synonymous names for the same role. However, this has not been the case since Philip J. Crowley's tenure ended in 2011.[2] Since 2011, the Assistant Secretary and the State Department Spokesperson have been two separate roles held by different people.[3] In late 2015, the two roles were once again merged with the appointment of Spokesperson John Kirby as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs.[4]


The State Department Spokesperson is responsible for communicating the foreign policy of the United States to American and foreign media, typically in a daily press briefing. The daily press briefing typically includes a summary of the Secretary of State's schedule, any upcoming trips by the Secretary, the President of the United States, or other distinguished State Department officials including Under Secretaries and Assistant Secretaries, and official reactions and positions of the U.S. government on certain news of the day, followed by Q&A with journalists attending the briefing. The daily press briefing is on-the-record, and is recorded and made available on the State Department's website.

The State Department Spokesperson will also often accompany the Secretary of State on travel to assist with press conferences.

List of State Department Spokespeople

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Tenure Spokesperson President Secretary of State
1927–1945 Michael J. McDermott[5] Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover,
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman
Frank B. Kellogg, Henry L. Stimson,
Cordell Hull, Edward Stettinius, Jr.
1945–1948 Roger Tubby[6] Harry S. Truman James F. Byrnes, George C. Marshall
1955–1963 Lincoln White[7] Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy John Foster Dulles, Christian Herter,
Dean Rusk
1964–1973 Robert J. McCloskey[8] Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon Dean Rusk, William P. Rogers
1966–1970 Carl E. Bartch[9]
1974–1976 Robert Anderson[10] Gerald Ford Henry Kissinger
1977–1980 Hodding Carter III[11] Jimmy Carter Cyrus Vance
1980–1981 William J. Dyess[12] Edmund Muskie
1981–1982 Dean E. Fischer[13] Ronald Reagan Alexander Haig
1982–1985 Robert John Hughes[14] George P. Shultz
1985–1986 Bernard Kalb[15]
1986–1989 Charles Edgar Redman[16]
1989–1992 Margaret D. Tutwiler[17] George H.W. Bush James Baker
1992–1993 Richard Boucher[18] Lawrence Eagleburger
1993–1995 Mike McCurry[19] Bill Clinton Warren Christopher
1995–1997 R. Nicholas Burns[20]
1997–2000 James Rubin[21] Madeleine Albright
2000–2005 Richard Boucher[18] Bill Clinton, George W. Bush Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell,
Condoleezza Rice
2005–2009 Sean McCormack[22] George W. Bush Condoleezza Rice
2009–2011 Philip J. Crowley Barack Obama Hillary Clinton
2011–2013 Victoria Nuland
2013–2015 Jen Psaki John Kerry
2015–present John Kirby


  1. "Bureau of Public Affairs: Senior Official Biographies". U.S. Department of State. October 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  2. "Victoria Nuland to be State Department spokesman". Foreign Policy. May 16, 2011. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  3. "Biographies for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy: Senior Officials". August 10, 2015. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  4. "John Kirby". U.S. Department of State. December 11, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
  5. Gleijeses, Piero (1991). Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 19441954. Princeton University Press.
  6. Neal, Steve (2003). HST: Memories of the Truman Years. Southern Illinois University Press.
  7. "Lincoln White is Dead at 77; U.S. Spokesman in Cold War". The New York Times. April 28, 1983. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  8. "Robert J. McCloskey, State Dept. Spokesman, Dies at 74". The New York Times. November 30, 1996. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  9. "Carl E. Bartch Dies at 78". Washington Post. October 2, 1989. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  10. "Robert Anderson Papers". Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  11. "William Hodding Carter III (1935–)". U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  12. "William Jennings Dyess (1929–1966)". U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  13. "Dean E. Fischer (1936–)". U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  14. "(Robert) John Hughes (1930–)". U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  15. "Bernard Kalb: From NBC to the State Department". Brookings Institution. October 2, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  16. "Charles Edgar Redman (1943–)". U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  17. "Margaret Debardeleben Tutwiler (1950–)". U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  18. 1 2 "Richard A. Boucher". U.S. Department of State. February 21, 2006. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  19. "And the good news is...: A conversation with former White House Press Secretaries Dana Perino and Mike McCurry". American Enterprise Institute. April 23, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  20. "Nicholas Burns". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  21. "James Rubin". Washington Speakers Bureau. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  22. "Department Spokesman Sean McCormack". U.S. Department of State. July 18, 2005. Retrieved November 21, 2015.

Daily Press Briefings at the U.S. State Department

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