Three security agents stand around a black car, one with a finger on his ear piece.

How does the U.S. Department of State protect American diplomats?

The bureau of diplomatic security (DS) is the security and law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of State and is responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. 

“This job is demanding, the stakes are high, and the hours are long.”

Nicolas Collura, Diplomatic Security Officer

Every U.S. diplomatic mission operates under a security program designed and maintained by Diplomatic Security. In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel protect the Secretary of State and high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States, investigate passport and visa fraud, and conduct personnel security investigations.

Secretary of state John Kerry, an older man at the time of this photo, gets out a limousine
Former U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry was surrounded by four DS special agents as he stepped out of his vehicle for a meeting at Diplomatic Security headquarters in suburban Washington, D.C. (U.S. Department of State photo)

Outside of the United States, Diplomatic Security ensures that America can conduct diplomacy safely and securely. DS plays a vital role in protecting U.S. embassies and personnel overseas, securing critical information systems, investigating passport and visa fraud, and fighting terrorism. Usually, local security guards are integrated into DS protection plans.

Marine Security Guards, working in coordination with DS personnel, protect many U.S. diplomatic and consular faculties abroad. They provide internal security to prevent the compromise of classified material vital to U.S. national security. They also provide protection for U.S government property and U.S. government employees located within U.S. diplomatic and consular premises, especially when under attack or during other urgent circumstances. (Taken from Marine Corps Embassy Security Group website).

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