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The U.S. Department of State is the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency responsible for advancing freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community. The Department’s employees, Foreign Service Officers and Specialists, Civil Service professionals and Foreign Service Nationals work at over 265 locations overseas, and throughout the United States. Together, they help to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system.