Office of the Spokesperson
April 4, 2016
Today, April 4, 2016, marks a century since then-Secretary of State Robert Lansing appointed the U.S. Department of State’s first special agents as part of World War I-era security measures. One hundred years later, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) continues its vital mission to provide a safe and secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy.
DSS is an integral part of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), the security and law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of State. DS is a world leader in international investigations, threat analysis, cyber security, counterterrorism, and security technology. The protection of people, property, and information is its top priority.
DS has a broad scope of global responsibilities. Overseas, it develops and implements security programs to safeguard personnel who work in every U.S. diplomatic mission around the world. In the United States, the Bureau protects the Secretary of State, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and foreign dignitaries below the head-of-state level who visit the United States. DS develops and implements security programs to protect the more than 100 domestic State Department facilities, as well as the residence of the Secretary of State.
Operating from a global platform in 31 cities throughout the United States and more than 160 foreign countries, DS plays a vital role in protecting 275 U.S. diplomatic missions and their personnel overseas, securing critical information systems, investigating passport and visa fraud, fighting terrorism, and training international partners.
DS includes more than 2,000 Special Agents, 200 Security Engineering Officers, and 100 Diplomatic Couriers. The DS family also includes 150 Security Technical Specialists, 94 Criminal Investigators, more than 2,000 Marine Security Guards, 120 Navy Seabees, 1,050 Uniformed Protection Officers/Guards, 34,000 Foreign Guard and surveillance detection personnel, and 850 Civil Servants.
The DSS mission includes:
- Overseas security: Providing security for the people who conduct U.S. diplomacy, as well as protecting facilities and information;
- Domestic security: Conducting investigations of passport and visa fraud, partnering with local, federal, and international law enforcement, and securing domestic U.S. State Department facilities;
- Protection: Protecting the U.S. Secretary of State, as well as visiting foreign dignitaries below the head-of-state level, U.S. delegations overseas, and U.S. athletes at international events;
- Training: Preparing U.S. diplomats to meet the challenges of high-threat posts; and
- Critical information: Safeguarding sensitive diplomatic data and information.
For more information on the Diplomatic Security Service, please visit http://www.state.gov/dss100/.