THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
The Diplomatic Security Service has evolved to safeguard
American diplomacy and U.S. interests abroad.
Senior Foreign Service Officer Bill A. Miller was appointed principal deputy assistant secretary for Diplomatic Security and director
of the Diplomatic Security Service in April 2014, following an assignment as deputy assistant secretary for high-threat posts in the
Bureau of Diplomatic Security. On Jan. 20, he became acting assistant secretary for Diplomatic Security, upon the departure of Greg
A member of the DSS since 1987, Miller has also served in Cairo, Baghdad, Islamabad, Jerusalem and Manila. Prior to joining the Foreign Ser-
vice as a DSS special agent, Miller served as a U.S. Marine infantry officer. He was honored as the 2004 Diplomatic Security Service Employee of
the Year for his service in Iraq. Miller is a recipient of the Department of State’s Award for Valor, several Superior Honor Awards, the Department
of Defense Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award and the Marine Security Guard Battalion’s award as RSO of the Year.
ust over a century ago, in 1916, then-U.S.
Secretary of State Robert Lansing created the
Department of State’s first security office in
recognition of the fact that the United States
was transforming into a global power dur-
ing the World War I era. Secretary Lansing
referred to his security team as the Secret
Intelligence Bureau, a lofty name for a single
Foreign Service officer overseeing a handful
of federal investigators on loan from the U.S. Secret Service and
U.S. Post Office Department.
The new office’s mission was to prepare classified security
reports and investigate covert activities within the United States
such as espionage, passport fraud and sabotage of U.S. industry
and transportation by the European powers then engaged in
World War I.
In early 1917, as the United States prepared to enter the war,
Congress granted the State Department legal authority to hire
its own federal agents. Secretary Lansing then took the next step
toward creating a security service: he appointed the department’s
first chief special agent, a former Secret Service investigator
named Joseph M. Nye.
Over the following decades, those earliest beginnings—a
handful of investigators primarily based in New York—evolved
into the Diplomatic Security Service.
Today, DSS is an integral part of the State Department, serving
as its security and law enforcement arm. The men and women of
DSS facilitate our work not only in Washington, D.C., and New
York City, but in 29 other U.S. cities and at 275 U.S. diplomatic
missions worldwide. DS personnel include more than 2,000 spe-
cial agents, 220 security engineering officers, 160 security techni-
cal specialists, 100 diplomatic couriers, 120 Navy Seabees, 1,000
uniformed protective officers and guards, and more than 37,000
foreign guard and surveillance detection personnel.
We protect people, property and information. We are mem-
bers of the Foreign Service, and we take seriously the fact that
we live and work with those we enable and protect. DSS special
agents, security engineers, diplomatic couriers and others risk
BY B I L L A . M I L L ER