An under secretary
is an executive
government official in many countries, frequently a career public servant
, who typically acts as a senior administrator or second-in-command
to a politically-appointed Cabinet Minister
or other government official. The title is used in many different political systems.
In the United States executive branch
, an undersecretary is a senior official in a government department, junior to a departmental Secretary such as the Secretary of State
and usually junior to a Deputy Secretary as well. An Undersecretary is typically a career government official, as opposed to a political appointee; they may head specific sub-departments or agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency
, or be responsible for a specific area of policy within the department, e.g. the Undersecretary for Management within the Department of State
While the Cabinet Secretary
provides vision and direction, undersecretaries run the department and are often considered the government equivalent of a chief operating officer
, albeit for a specific branch.
Before 1972, "Undersecretary" (also spelled "Under Secretary") signified the senior deputy to a cabinet Secretary, especially of State and Treasury. The Under Secretary would typically be a political appointee. The office of Under Secretary of State
was replaced by the Deputy Secretary of State
and the office of Under Secretary of the Treasury was replaced by the Deputy Secretary......