secretary of state

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secretary of state

1. (in Britain) the head of any of several government departments
2. (in the US) the head of the government department in charge of foreign affairs (State Department)
3. (in certain US states) an official with various duties, such as keeping records

Secretary of State


(1) In the German Empire (1871–1918), an imperial minister directly subordinate to the chancellor.

(2) In the Federal Republic of Germany and other countries, the highest appointed official in the ministerial apparatus and closest aide to a minister; also responsible for maintaining government contacts with the parliament and its factions and committees.

(3) The official title for certain British and American high government officials and, in France, for directors of offices under the prime minister.

(4) In the German Democratic Republic, an official holding the rank of first deputy chairman or the head of a specific government office (a secretariat).

(5) In Hungary, the head of a state agency subordinate to the Council of Ministers, for example, the Hungarian National Bank or the Central Statistical Institute. Unlike a minister, a secretary of state is pot part of the Hungarian government.

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