15 Departments of the Federal Government By Kayla Farrar

Department of State

Founded in 1789


The purpose of the Department of State is to handle the country's diplomatic affairs and deals primarily with foreign relations. The current head is Rex Tillerson, appointed by President Donald Trump.


The Department's mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere. This mission is shared with the USAID, ensuring we have a common path forward in partnership as we invest in the shared security and prosperity that will ultimately better prepare us for the challenges of tomorrow.

Department of Treasury

Founded in 1789


The current Secretary of Treasury is Steven Mnuchin.


Maintain a strong economy and create economic and job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable economic growth and stability at home and abroad, strengthen national security by combating threats and protecting the integrity of the financial system, and manage the U.S. Government’s finances and resources effectively.

Department of Justice

Founded in 1870


The Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions...


[The purpose of the Department of Justice is] to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.

Department of Interior

Founded in 1849


The Department of Interior is led by Ryan Zinke...


The Department of the Interior protects and manages the Nation's natural resources and cultural heritage; provides scientific and other information about those resources; and honors its trust responsibilities or special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities.

Department of Agriculture

Founded in 1889


The Department of Agriculture currently has no head, but Sonny Perdue is set to lead it.


The Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.

Department of Commerce

Founded in 1903


The Department of Commerce is lead by Secretary Wilbur Ross.


The mission of the Department is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity.

Department of Labor

Founded in 1913


Ed Hugler is the Secretary of the Department of Labor.


To foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Department of Defense

Founded in 1947


The Department of Defense is lead by James Mattis.


The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The department's headquarters is at the Pentagon.

Department of Health and Human Services

Founded in 1953

The Department of Health and Human Services is led by Tom Price.


The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of Americans by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Founded in 1965


Dr. Ben Carson is the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination, and transform the way HUD does business.

Department of Transportation

Founded in 1966


The Department of Transportation is led by Elaine Chao


Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Department of Energy

Founded in 1977


The Department of Energy is led by Rick Perry...


The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.

Department of Education

Founded in 1979


The Department of Education, led by Betsy Devos.


ED's mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.

Department of Veteran Affairs

Founded in 1989


The Department of Veteran Affairs, led by David Shulkin.


To fulfill President Lincoln's promise "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's veterans.

Department of Homeland Security

Founded in 2003


The Department of Homeland Security is led by John Kelly.


To secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, and our goal is clear - keeping America safe.

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