Department of State
federal executive division responsible for carrying out U.S. foreign policy. It is the president's principal means of conducting treaty negotiations and effecting agreements with foreign nations. Under its control are the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, seven bureaus of political affairs, the U.S. Foreign Service (including 270 embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions, and numerous subagencies), and various offices of diplomatic security, foreign intelligence, policy analysis, international narcotics control, protocol, and passport and medical services. The department's legal adviser advises the secretary of state on all matters of international law arising in the conduct of foreign relations.