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United States Secretary of Foreign Affairs
The Articles of Confederation, permitted the Continental Congress to select "such committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the United States." Shortly after the congressional resolution of January 10, 1781, Congress selected Robert R. Livingston, a delegate from New York, as the first Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He took office on October 20, 1781, and served until June 4, 1783 when he was succeeded by John Jay, who served until March 4.
Under the new constitution, an executive Department of Foreign Affairs was signed into law by George Washington on July 27, 1789. The department continued to be headed by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs until it was renamed the Department of State, with certain domestic powers, when its head became the Secretary of State.
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