The mission of the U.S. Department of State – the equivalent of what most countries call a ministry of foreign affairs – is to create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.
With this goal in mind, the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik works with leaders, institutions, and citizens of the U.S. and Iceland to maintain and broaden the close political, economic, security, cultural, and personal ties between the two nations.
The Embassy is staffed by 12 American and about 32 locally engaged employees of the Department of State, divided into several sections.
Coordination With Other U.S. Agencies
The Embassy draws support from representatives of other U.S. government agencies in the region or in Washington. These non-resident colleagues coordinate with the Embassy and with the government of Iceland through periodic visits, videoconferences, and other contacts, on such topics as:
- Trade: The Embassy’s Economic/Commercial Section works closely with regional representatives of the Department of Commerce and Department of Agriculture, based at Embassy Stockholm and Embassy The Hague, U.S. Trade Representative in Washington. respectively, and with the Office of the
- Environment, Science, and Technology: The Economic/Commercial Section also coordinates with the State Department’s Copenhagen-based regional Environment, Science, and Technology officer, and with Washington-based scientific agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey, and NASA.
- Defense: The United States remains committed to honoring the bilateral U.S.-Iceland defense agreement. Since 2005 the Defense Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo has been accredited to the Government of Iceland, providing Embassy Reykjavik with expertise on military arrangements, operations, and assistance in support of efforts to transform U.S.-Iceland security cooperation to face emerging 21st Century threats such as terrorism and trafficking. In 2007 an Assistant Defense Attaché reporting to the Attaché in Oslo was assigned to the Embassy to support ongoing efforts to enhance security cooperation.
- Law Enforcement and Counterterrorism: The Embassy’s Regional Security Officer is the primary liaison with Icelandic police and security services and obtains support for the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Drug Enforcement Administration based in nearby countries.
- Immigration: On all immigration-related issues, the Embassy’s Consular Section is the primary liaison with Icelandic authorities, as well as the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other government agencies.