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32

MARCH 2017

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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

Starr.

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.

J

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

FOCUS

SECURING DIPLOMACY

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.

DSS Today

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

A TRADITION

OF VIGILANCE

DS AT

100

BY B I L L A . M I L L ER