Name That Cabinet Department
As of January 1, 2003, there are fifteen cabinet departments working with the president. Can you tell which is which?
The fourth largest department in terms of employees, this agency was elevated to cabinet status in 1889. This department conducts research to improve agricultural activity, provides assistance to farmers and ranchers, and works to protect national forests from fire and disease.
Established in 1789, this department develops foreign policy, negotiates treaties, and handles diplomatic relationships with foreign governments. Its head is the first cabinet official to succeed to the presidency in the case of national disaster. Thomas Jefferson, Dean Acheson, and Henry Kissinger have all headed this department.
Established in 1849, this was the first cabinet department created after the original three of 1789. One of its responsibilities is to supervise Native American affairs. It also oversees the national parks system and is responsible for wildlife conservation. In 2001, Gail Norton became the first woman to head this agency.
The mission of this department is to create affordable housing and home ownership opportunities for all Americans. Established as one of the Great Society programs of the 1960s, it's the second smallest department in terms of the number of its employees.
This agency is responsible for setting workplace conditions, and monitoring contract negotiations between unions and management. In 2001, department head Elaine Chao became the first Asian-American woman to head a cabinet agency.
By far the largest cabinet department with almost 700,000 employees, this agency provides for the national defense, manages the armed forces, and operates military facilities. Donald Rumsfeld holds the distinction of being both the youngest and oldest person to head this department, having served in the post under President Gerald Ford and George W. Bush.
This department enforces federal criminal laws and provides legal advice to the president. It was formed in 1789, although it did not become a cabinet-level department until 1870. More than a dozen smaller agencies report to this department, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Created in 1988, this department promotes the welfare of veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. It is estimated that more than 500,000 veterans and their spouses receive benefits from this agency every year.
The purpose of this department is to promote economic growth and job creation, and protect the interest of businesses. It was founded in 1903 and became its own department in 1913. It's also responsible for the national census, patents and trademarks, and promoting U.S. travel and tourism.
Established in 2002, this department's primary responsibility is to protect Americans at home from terrorist attacks. Airport luggage checkers, the Coast Guard, the border patrol, and many others now report to this agency. President George W. Bush appointed former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge to be the first head of this department.
This department is responsible for providing safe and easy travel within the United States. Created in 1967, its sub-agencies include the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigates plane crashes and other transportation-related accidents.
Established in 1977, this department is responsible for promoting the conservation of energy and resources, conducting research and development for alternative energy sources, and overseeing radioactive and nuclear materials at home and abroad.
Originally created in 1953, this department was renamed and given a slightly different mandate in 1979. It promotes the health and welfare of the American people, and is the largest grant-making agency in the federal government. The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control are just two of the many sub-agencies that report to this department.
The smallest cabinet department, with approximately 5,000 employees, this agency coordinates federal programs and policies meant to improve the quality of education nationwide. Since its creation in 1979, there have been several unsuccessful attempts to abolish this department.
One of the three original cabinet departments established in 1789, this one oversees the nation's fiscal policy and economy, and is also responsible for protecting the president and his family. Former department heads include Alexander Hamilton, James Baker III, and Robert Rubin.
Which cabinet department resides outside of Washington, D.C.?
The Pentagon, which houses the Department of Defense, is located across the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia, only five miles from downtown Washington. With approximately 30,000 employees, the Pentagon is considered the world's largest office building.
For the first 150 years, the cabinet served as the predominant source of presidential counsel and decision-making. Over the past fifty years, however, the White House staff has replaced cabinet personnel as the president's primary advisors and policymakers.