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Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism

Definition/Scope: (DoS) The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT) coordinates and supports the development and implementation of all U.S. Government policies and programs aimed at countering terrorism overseas. The predecessor organization to S/CT was the Office for Combating Terrorism, created in 1972 upon the recommendation of a special committee appointed by President Richard Nixon following the Munich Olympics terrorist attack. The committee determined that an office was needed within the Department of State to provide day-to-day counterterrorism coordination and to develop policy initiatives and responses for the U.S. Government. The Office for Combatting Terrorism became the Office of the Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism in 1985, and the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in 1989. In 1994, Congress officially mandated the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in Public Law 103-236 [H.R. 2333]. In 1998, Congress further defined the role of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism in Public Law 105-277 [H.R. 4328]: There is within the office of the Secretary of State a Coordinator for Counterterrorism…who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate…. The principal duty of the coordinator shall be the overall supervision (including policy oversight of resources) of international counterterrorism activities. The Coordinator shall be the principal adviser to the Secretary of State on international counterterrorism matters. The coordinator shall be the principal counterterrorism official within the senior management of the Department of State and shall report directly to the Secretary of State…The Coordinator shall have the rank and status of Ambassador at Large. The Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism (S/CT) is headed by the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, who has the rank of Ambassador-at-Large. The Principal Deputy Coordinator works directly with the Coordinator to oversee all aspects of S/CT activities. The lion’s share of S/CT’s work is conducted within four functional directorates: Regional and Trans-Regional Affairs; Homeland Security; Programs, Plans, Press and Public Diplomacy; and Operations. The Coordinator and Principal Deputy Coordinator are also supported by an Advisory Council; liaison officers interfacing with the National Counterterrorism Center, the Intelligence Community and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and a Management and Budget unit.



Broader Terms:

Department of State

Narrower Terms:

Foreign Emergency Support Team

Related Terms:

weapons of mass destruction

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