Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park.
John Foster Dulles became Secretary of State on January 21, 1953. By the time he attained that position, Dulles had amassed considerable foreign policy experience both in and out of government. The grandson of Secretary of State John W. Foster and the nephew by marriage of Secretary of State Robert Lansing, Dulles graduated from Princeton University in 1908. His governmental work included time on the staff of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace at the end of World War I, serving on the U.S. delegation to the United Nations in the late 1940s, and leading the negotiation of the peace treaty with Japan at the end of World War II (1950-52). Out of government, he worked at the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, where he handled many foreign issues, and in 1944 and 1948 he was the chief foreign policy adviser to Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican candidate for president.
Upon entering into office as Secretary of State, Dulles issued the following memorandum to the Department of State and the Foreign Service.
Source: John Foster Dulles Memorandum to the Department of State and the Foreign Service, January 22, 1953, file US: Government, 1947-1955 (NAID 2647582), Central Subject Files, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, RG 84: Records of Foreign Service Posts, U.S. National Archives. Also released to the public as Department of State Press Release No. 40, January 22, 1953