The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) is a unique organization that plays an essential role within the U.S. Department of State. The Bureau’s personnel – who include special agents, engineers, diplomatic couriers, Civil Service specialists, and contractors-work together as a team to ensure that the State Department can carry out its foreign policy missions safely and securely.
Diplomatic Security has a broad scope of global responsibilities, with protection of people, information, and property as its top priority. Overseas, DS develops and implements effective security programs to safeguard all personnel who work in every U.S. diplomatic mission around the world. In the United States, the Bureau protects the Secretary of State, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and foreign dignitaries below the head-of-state level who visit the United States. DS develops and implements security programs to protect the more than 90 domestic State Department facilities as well as the residence of the Secretary of State.
DS investigates passport and visa fraud, conducts personnel security investigations, and issues security clearances. The Bureau also assists foreign embassies and consulates in the United States with the security for their missions and personnel.
With the addition of the Office of Foreign Missions in 1996, DS assumed the responsibilities of servicing and regulating the activities of all foreign missions in the United States.