Government Information: Departments & Agencies

Departments and Agencies - Introduction

The executive departments are the units of government that are under the direct supervision of the President. The heads of the executive departments make up part of the President's cabinet. The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of the 15 executive departments listed below, as well as the Attorney General.

In addition to these departments, there are hundreds of federal agencies and commissions with various responsibilities. Visit for a current list of all federal agencies, commissions and departments.

Each executive department collects and publishes unique information. Consult the departmental pages listed below, and the links to highlighted publications, resources, agencies and administrations to learn more! Other agencies and administrations are highlighted in boxes in the right column.

Department of Agriculture

Department of Agriculture highlighted publications and resources:

Department of Commerce

Department of Commerce highlighted commerce bureaus:

        Department of Defense

        Department of Defense highlighted documents and sites:

        • Department of Defense News Releases: News releases are official statements of the DOD, which include casualty notices. Archived releases are online from Oct. 1994 on.
        • Joint Chiefs of Staff: The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the principal military adviser to the President, though all JCS members are considered law military advisers
        • Military Departments: The official sites for the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and more can be found on this page.


        Department of Education

        Department of Education highlighted resources:

          Department of Energy

          Department of Energy highlighted agencies and offices:

          Department of Health & Human Services

          Deparment of Health and Human Services highlighted agencies:

          Department of Homeland Security

          Department of Homeland Security highlighted resources and administrations.

          Department of Housing & Urban Development

          Department of Housing and Urban Development highlighted resources for HUD data: 

          • HUD USER: This resources contains housing research and data sets as well as publications of HUD research.
          • Homelessness: Follow this link for resources and information about homelessness; also see HHS information above.

          Department of the Interior

          Department of the Interior highlighted bureaus and agencies:

          Department of Justice

          Department of Justice highlighted offices, divisions, and bureaus:

          Department of Labor

          Department of Labor highlighted bureaus and administrations:

          Department of State

          Department of State highlighted publications and documents:

          Department of Transportation

          Department of Transportation highlighted administrations and bureaus: 

          Department of the Treasury

          Department of the Treasury highlighted resources and agencies:

          Department of Veteran Affairs

          Department of Veteran Affairs highlighted resources:

          Highlighted & Familiar Agencies


          This guide is based on the work of Meagan Kinsley & Molly Riley of the University Of Washington iSchool dated May 2011