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James Steinberg has served as deputy secretary of state since January of 2009. As the second-ranking officer in the Department of State, Steinberg is the principal deputy, adviser and alter ego of the Secretary of State. In this role Steinberg assists in the formulation and conduct of U.S. foreign policy, provides general supervision and direction to all elements of the department, and when called upon, serves as the acting secretary of state. A former vice president and director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, Steinberg is on leave from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, where he served as dean before joining the Obama administration. He spoke on American leadership and international cooperation in the 21st century.