What Department Secretaries Make Up The U.S. Cabinet?

Along with the President and Vice President, 15 U.S. Departments form the core of the Federal Executive branch of government.

The United States' federal executive departments are among the oldest primary units of the executive branch of the government of the United States. The U.S.A has a presidential system and, in contrast to semi-presidential or parliamentary systems, the heads of these departments do not form a government. They instead act as the advisers to the president and are referred to as secretaries of their respective departments.

Departments and Secretaries of the U.S. Cabinet

Department of State

It was formed in 1789 and has its current headquarters at the Harry S Truman Building in Washington, D.C. The role of the department is heading the country’s foreign policy, and the secretary of state is the leading adviser to the president on foreign affairs. It is also critical to ensuring the welfare of Americans in other countries as well as foreigners in the U.S.

Department of the Treasury

This department is responsible for the management of government revenues. It produces the currency, collects taxes, pays the US bills, and managing the public debt. Other roles also include enforcing tax laws and prosecuting tax evaders. From 1830 to 1910, the department was also responsible for overseeing weights and measures after which the function was carried out by National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Department of Justice

It was formed in 1870 and currently has 113,543 employees. Its primary role is enforcing the law and administering justice. It I headed by the Attorney General of the US. Before the establishment of the Department, the Attorney General was a one-man part-time job. The legal adversarial role of the department initially included the presidency and the Congress but was later restricted to the presidency on account of the workload involved.

Department of the Interior

It was founded in 1849 and has its headquarters in the Main Interior Building in Washington, D.C. In other countries, this ministry is always responsible for police matters and internal security. However, in the US, it has a very broad range of responsibilities and it is sometimes humorously referred to as department of everything else. Mining, environmental enforcement, surface mining, geological surveys, and National Park management are some of the many responsibilities entrusted with the department.

Department of Agriculture

It was formed in 1862 and took over the mandate of the Agricultural Division formerly under the Department of the Interior. This department had, however, been accused of discriminating against African-American farmers early on in its timeline. It is responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to agriculture, farming, forestry, and food, as well as managing the country's National Forests.

Department of Commerce

It was established in 1903 and has its headquarters in the Herbert C. Hoover Building. The department was originally known as the United States Department of Commerce and Labor. The primary role of the department is to promote economic growth. It also promotes job creation and improved living standards to the citizens.

Department of Labor

It was formerly part of the Department of Commerce and Labor until 1913 when it became its own autonomous department. The role of this department is to promote and develop the welfare of all workers, job seekers and the retirees in the country. It is also responsible for ensuring that employees get their legal benefits and also ensures that employers provide a healthy working environment to all Americans.

Department of Defense

It was formed in 1947 and was preceded by the Department of War and the Department of the Navy. It is currently made up of 742,000 civilians, 1,300,000 active duty military, and 826,000 National Guard and reserves. The total number of employees is 2.87 million people. The role of the Defense Department is responsible for coordinating and supervising all the agencies of the Government concerned with the national security, and the United States armed formed. It is the largest employer globally.

Department of Health and Human Services

It was formed in 1953 when Reorganization Plan 1 of 1953 became effective. Its motto is “improving health, safety, and well-being of America.” The primary role of the department is to protect the health of all the citizens and provision of essential human services’. In 2010, the federal budget established a reserve fund of $630 billion to finance fundamental reforms to the health sector over a period of 10 years.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

It was created in 1965 and has its headquarters in Robert C. Weaver Federal Building. It was preceded by the housing and home finance agency. The role of the department is to create a strong, sustainable, and inclusive communities and ensure quality and affordable homes to all Americans. It has to protect the rights of the real estate consumers.

Department of Transportation

This department was formed in 1967 and has its headquarters along New Jersey Avenue. It currently employs 58,622. The primary objective of the transport department is to ensure, a fast, safe, accessible, and convenient transportation systems to all citizens. The system must meet vital national interests and enhance the quality of life of all the Americans.

Department of Energy

The department was formed in 1977 and was preceded by two other agencies, namely the Federal Energy Administration and the Energy Research and Development Administration. Its headquarters are located at the James V. Forrestal Building and has 13,441 employees. It is concerned with the country’s policy on energy and safety in handling nuclear materials.

Department of Education

The Department of Education was formed in 1867, but was later demoted to an office soon thereafter in 1868. The current department was formed much later in 1979 after the Congress passed a bill approving it. The education IN the US is highly decentralized, and many opposed the bill, especially in the Republican Party.

Department of Veteran Affairs

It was formed in 1930 and was preceded by the Veterans Administration Agency. The budget of the department totaling up to $87.6 billion is used to pay employees working in the Veteran Affairs medical facilities. This budget also caters for the benefits of the veterans and their families.

Homeland Security

It became the newest Cabinet-level department after it was formed in 2002 by an act of the U.S. Congress. Its main areas of jurisdiction include anti-terrorism, border security, immigration, cyber crimes, and disaster prevention and management. The September 11, 2001 terror attacks largely necessitated its formation.

Positions with the Status of Cabinet Rank Yet Not Part of the Cabinet

  • White House Chief of Staff
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Office of Management & Budget,United States Trade Representative
  • United States Mission to the United Nations
  • Council of Economic Advisers
  • Small Business Administration

What Department Secretaries Make Up The U.S. Cabinet?

U.S. Cabinet Departments Year of Formation
State 1789
Treasury 1789
Justice 1870
Interior 1849
Agriculture 1862
Commerce 1903
Labor 1913
Defense 1947
Health and Human Services 1953
Housing and Urban Development 1965
Transportation 1966
Energy 1977
Education 1980
Veterans Affairs 1989
Homeland Security 2002

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