United States federal executive departments

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The United States federal executive departments are the principal units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. They are analogous to ministries common in parliamentary or semi-presidential systems but (the United States being a presidential system) they are led by a head of government who is also the head of state. The executive departments are the administrative arms of the President of the United States. There are currently 15 executive departments.

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The heads of the executive departments receive the title of Secretary of their respective department, except for the Attorney-General who is head of the Justice Department (and the Postmaster General who until 1971 was head of the Post Office Department). The heads of the executive departments are appointed by the President and take office after confirmation by the United States Senate, and serve at the pleasure of the President. The heads of departments are members of the Cabinet of the United States, an executive organ that normally acts as an advisory body to the President. In the Opinion Clause (Article II, section 2, clause 1) of the U.S. Constitution, heads of executive departments are referred to as "principal Officer in each of the executive Departments".

The heads of executive departments are included in the line of succession to the President, in the event of a vacancy in the presidency, after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

Current departments

SealDepartmentFormedEmployeesAnnual budgetHead
PortraitName
and title
U.S. Department of State official seal.svg State July 27, 178969,000
13,000 Foreign Service
11,000 Civil Service
45,000 local
$90.3 billion
(2015)
Mike Pompeo official photo (cropped).jpg Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
Seal of the United States Department of the Treasury.svg Treasury September 2, 178986,049
(2014)
$20 billion
(2019)
Steven Mnuchin official photo (cropped).jpg Steven Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury
United States Department of Defense Seal.svg Defense September 18, 19472.86 million$717 billion
(2019)
Dr. Mark T. Esper - Secretary of Defense.jpg Mark Esper
Secretary of Defense
Seal of the United States Department of Justice.svg Justice July 1, 1870113,543
(2012)
$29.9 billion
(2019)
William Barr (cropped).jpg William Barr
Attorney General
Seal of the United States Department of the Interior.svg Interior March 3, 184970,003
(2012)
$20.7 billion
(2013)
David Bernhardt official photo (cropped).jpg David Bernhardt
Secretary of the Interior
Seal of the United States Department of Agriculture.svg Agriculture May 15, 1862105,778
(June 2007)
$155 billion
(2019)
Sonny Perdue headshot.jpg Sonny Perdue
Secretary of Agriculture
Seal of the United States Department of Commerce.svg Commerce February 14, 190343,880
(2011)
$9.67 billion
(2018)
Wilbur Ross headshot.jpg Wilbur Ross
Secretary of Commerce
Seal of the United States Department of Labor.svg Labor March 4, 191317,450
(2014)
$12.1 billion
(2012)
Eugene Scalia (cropped).jpg Eugene Scalia
Secretary of Labor
Seal of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.svg Health and Human Services April 11, 195379,540
(2015)
$1,171 billion

(2019)

Alex Azar official portrait 2 (cropped).jpg Alex Azar
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Seal of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.svg Housing and Urban Development September 9, 19658,416
(2014)
$32.6 billion
(2014)
Ben Carson headshot.jpg Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Seal of the United States Department of Transportation.svg Transportation April 1, 196758,622$72.4 billion Elaine Chao official portrait 2 (cropped).jpg Elaine Chao
Secretary of Transportation
Seal of the United States Department of Energy.svg Energy August 4, 197712,944
(2014)
$27.9 billion
(2015)
Rick Perry official portrait (cropped).jpg Rick Perry
Secretary of Energy
Seal of the United States Department of Education.svg Education October 17, 19793912
(2018)
$68 billion
(2016)
Betsy DeVos official portrait (cropped).jpg Betsy DeVos
Secretary of Education
Seal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.svg Veterans Affairs 21 July 1930377,805
(2016)
$180 billion
(2017)
Robert Wilkie official portrait (cropped).jpg Robert Wilkie
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Seal of the United States Department of Homeland Security.svg Homeland Security November 25, 2002229,000
(2017)
$47.7 billion
(2018)
Kevin McAleenan official photo.jpg Kevin McAleenan
Secretary of Homeland Security
(Acting)

Former departments

SealDepartmentFormedAbolishedSuperseded byLast head
PortraitName
and title
Seal of the United States Department of War.png War August 7, 1789 September 18, 1947 Department of the Army
Department of the Air Force
KCR portrait.jpg Kenneth C. Royall
Secretary of War
Emblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg Army September 18, 1947August 10, 1949 Department of Defense
(as executive department)
becomes military department
Gordon Gray - Project Gutenberg etext 20587.jpg Gordon Gray
Secretary of the Army
Seal of the United States Department of the Air Force.svg Air Force Portrait of W. Stuart Symington 97-1844.jpg W. Stuart Symington
Secretary of the Air Force
Seal of the United States Department of the Navy (1879-1957).png Navy April 30, 1798 Francis P. Matthews.jpg Francis P. Matthews
Secretary of the Navy
Seal of the United States Department of the Post Office.svg Post Office February 20, 1792 July 1, 1971 Postal Service Winton M. Blount.jpg Winton M. Blount
Postmaster General

See also

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References