What does it mean to be president, vice president, secretary of state or how about the secretary of treasury? We hear some of these terms so frequently and yet do we know what they really mean? We will discuss what these roles are and what type of power they have.


The president is both the head of state and head of government of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the laws created by Congress.

Vice President

The vice president is the second highest role and falls in the executive branch of the government. The vice president is also an officer in the legislative branch, as president of the Senate. The vice president also presides over joint sessions of Congress.

Secretary of State

The secretary of state serves as an adviser on foreign policy issues, negotiates treaties and represents the U.S. at the United Nations.

Secretary of the Treasury

The secretary of the treasury is in charge of the administration’s financial and economic policies.

US Attorney General

This person is US’s lawyer and is head of Department of Justice and advises the president on legal matters.

The executive branch also has other secretaries of various branches that head up other important functioning areas for the United States. There are also other important roles at the states level such as the governor.


A governor serves as the chief executive officer and commander-in-chief in each of the fifty states, functioning as both head of state and head of government. Governors are responsible for implementing state laws and overseeing the operation of the state executive branch.


The mayor’s basic responsibility is to carry out the council’s directives and to implement the policies adopted by the council.


Commissioners serve both legislative and executive roles. The relationship of the executive to the legislative body varies by form of local government: mayor-council, council-mayor, or commission.

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