Secretaries of State Since WWII

This section gives information on each Secretary of State since World War II.  In addition to brief text and references, video clips on several are also included.



Christian A. Herter -- 1959-1961

Christian Herter, born in Paris, was a leading internationalist of his era, beginning his professional life with the State Department in 1916-19. Later, as a private citizen he helped establish the Council on Foreign Relations and was cofounder of both the School of Advanced International Studies (now part of Johns Hopkins University) and the Middle East Institute. Brought into the Eisenhower Administration’s second term as Under Secretary of State, he became secretary following the sudden death of John Foster Dulles. Herter was noted for his strong interest in promoting the strongest possible political and economic relations with Europe, and had a reassuring avuncular manner that was on full display when he made a live radio and television address to the nation on May 7, 1959, shortly after assuming his new position. In recognition of his much admired independence of thought, the American Foreign Service Association in 1968 established its Christian A. Herter Award to honor senior diplomats who challenge the status quo.

  • Herter, Christian A. Toward an Atlantic Community. New York: Harper & Row for the Council on Foreign Relations, 1963.
  • Noble, G. Bernard. Christian A. Herter. New York: Cooper Square, 1970.