How to Become Secretary of State

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How to Become Secretary of State. It is the job of the employees of the state department to oversee foreign affairs in all aspects of government, from economic and trade to defense and managing foreign relationships. The Secretary of the State is the head of this department. These steps will show you the best path to take to bring your self to the threshold of the office of Secretary of State.

Aim for a long, solid career in politics. Start young by joining debate clubs or student government in middle and high school. Read everything you can get your hands on to learn the history of the United States government including all the departments, not just the Department of State. It is wise to have a well-rounded knowledge with a specialty area as well.

Get involved in politics in college and make them your main area of study. Tell your professors your desire to become Secretary of State and they may also help groom you in the right direction.

Volunteer with your local party. If you are a member of a political party, volunteer with campaigns for that party's candidates. Learn as much as you can and try to talk with the candidates as much as possible to build memorable relationships.

Stay in the foreign policy range of careers and work your way up. Find a low level job at the department and start there learning everything you can along the way.

Make allies and build relationships with important people while working in the Department of State. While the President is the only to appoint the position, he does have advisers and will want to speak with people that have worked closely with you throughout the years.


Take criticism as a gift and learn from the mistakes you will undoubtedly make. The government is a tough place to work with even tougher people to work with. If you don't develop thick skin, you aren't going to make it in politics or government work.


Be careful whose toes you step on along the way. While politics is a competitive field (and you should absolutely stay ahead of the game), you never know who is going to be your next boss. Form relationships with political figures along the way, but be careful in the early days when you have not been in the arena long; you don't want to come off like a stalker. You will be remembered badly and that reputation will spread around Capitol Hill faster than a good one.