United States federal executive departments

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.

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

Seal Department Formed Employees Annual budget Head
Portrait Name
and title
State July 27, 1789 69,000
13,000 Foreign Service
11,000 Civil Service
45,000 local
$90.3 billion
Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
Treasury September 2, 1789 86,049
$20 billion
Steven Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury
Defense September 18, 1947 2.86 million $717 billion
Mark Esper
Secretary of Defense
Justice July 1, 1870 113,543
$29.9 billion
William Barr
Attorney General
Interior March 3, 1849 70,003
$20.7 billion
David Bernhardt
Secretary of the Interior
Agriculture May 15, 1862 105,778
(June 2007)
$155 billion
Sonny Perdue
Secretary of Agriculture
Commerce February 14, 1903 43,880
$9.67 billion
Wilbur Ross
Secretary of Commerce
Labor March 4, 1913 17,450
$12.1 billion
Eugene Scalia
Secretary of Labor
Health and Human Services April 11, 1953 79,540
$1,171 billion


Alex Azar
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Housing and Urban Development September 9, 1965 8,416
$32.6 billion
Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Transportation April 1, 1967 58,622 $72.4 billion Elaine Chao
Secretary of Transportation
Energy August 4, 1977 12,944
$27.9 billion
Rick Perry
Secretary of Energy
Education October 17, 1979 3912
$68 billion
Betsy DeVos
Secretary of Education
Veterans Affairs 21 July 1930 377,805
$180 billion
Robert Wilkie
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Homeland Security November 25, 2002 229,000
$47.7 billion
Kevin McAleenan
Secretary of Homeland Security

Former departments

Seal Department Formed Abolished Superseded by Last head
Portrait Name
and title
War August 7, 1789 September 18, 1947 Department of the Army
Department of the Air Force
Kenneth C. Royall
Secretary of War
Army September 18, 1947 August 10, 1949 Department of Defense
(as executive department)
becomes military department
Gordon Gray
Secretary of the Army
Air Force W. Stuart Symington
Secretary of the Air Force
Navy April 30, 1798 Francis P. Matthews
Secretary of the Navy
Post Office February 20, 1792 July 1, 1971 Postal Service Winton M. Blount
Postmaster General

See also


    This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.