An official website of the United States government

Diplomatic Security Service

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), is the security and law enforcement arm of the U.S. Department of State. DS is a world leader in international investigations, threat analysis, cyber security, counterterrorism, security technology, and protection of people, property, and information. It is responsible for providing a safe and secure environment for the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. Every diplomatic mission in the world operates under a security program designed and maintained by DS.

In the United States, Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) special agents protect the Secretary of State, high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States, investigate passport and visa fraud, and conduct personnel security investigations. Operating from a global platform in 25 U.S. cities and 159 foreign countries, DS 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 the war on terror.

Regional Security Officers

Diplomatic Security Service special agents, assigned to U.S. diplomatic missions overseas are known as Regional Security Officers (RSOs). These special agents serve as the advisor to the Ambassador or Chief of Mission on law enforcement and security matters and coordinate all aspects of a mission’s security program. They develop and implement effective security programs to protect our employees from terrorist, criminal, and technical attacks both at work and at home.

RSOs receive valuable assistance in this effort from other DS personnel, Marine Security Guards, U.S. Navy Seabees, local and cleared American guards, local investigators, and security engineering officers, and host government officials.

In addition, RSOs provide unclassified security briefings and other professional security advice to U.S. business executives overseas through the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). RSOs serve as the primary liaison with foreign police and security services overseas in an effort to obtain support for U.S. law enforcement initiatives and investigations including the capture and return of U.S. fugitives.