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Do you know your government acronyms?

  • Do you know your government acronyms?
    1/ MaxPixel

    Do you know your government acronyms?

    In its 242-year history, the United States has not only grown as a country with an ever-growing number of agencies and departments—it’s also amassed an array of acronyms, some more memorable than others.

    From POTUS to SCOTUS, FDA to FOIA, the people, offices, and agencies that form the foundation of America bring dozens of abbreviations to our nation’s vocabulary. Whether to make sense of government-speak or navigate the alphabet soup of the daily news cycle, it helps to have a general understanding of them to stay informed.

    Using data from governmental websites, encyclopedias, and news sources, Stacker has gathered a list of relevant offices and agencies—with corresponding clues to test your knowledge. How many can you identify off the top of your head? Follow the clues to find out.

    ALSO: The impact of the military on every state economy 

  • USDA
    2/ Jeff Vanuga // Wikimedia Commons


    In 1862 Abraham Lincoln signed the act that created this agency, which had a mandate "to acquire and to diffuse … information on subjects connected with agriculture in the most general and comprehensive sense of that word."

  • United States Department of Agriculture
    3/ A.H. Baldwin // Wikimedia Commons

    United States Department of Agriculture

    From aiding American farmers to overseeing food safety, the USDA has a broad range of responsibilities. The USDA also subsidizes the Food and Nutrition Service, the federal agency that administers food stamps. Congress is currently negotiating the 2018 farm bill, which sets a five-year budget for the department.

  • DOD
    4/ Ken Hammond // Wikimedia Commons


    The largest department in the U.S. government, it includes all four branches of armed services and has a primary responsibility of defending the United States.

  • Department of Defense
    5/ United States Department of Defense // Wikimedia Commons

    Department of Defense

    Despite the National Security Act of 1947, which forbids a military leader from serving as the U.S. Secretary of Defense until after seven years of civilian life, President Donald Trump appointed James “Mad Dog” Mattis to the lead the Department of Defense after he had only been out of service for three and a half years. To do this, Congress had to grant a special type of waiver that had not been issued since 1950.

  • DHS
    6/ James Tourtelotte // Wikimedia Commons


    Created in 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, this department has the primary responsibility of ensuring that the U.S. is protected from security and safety threats, such as terrorist attacks and disasters.

  • Department of Homeland Security
    7/ U.S. Airforce // Wikimedia Commons

    Department of Homeland Security

    Currently chaired by Secretary John F. Kelly, the Department of Homeland Security has more than 240,000 employees in more than 12 key offices and committees—including the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Secret Service.

  • ICE
    8/ Jonathan McIntosh // flickr


    This is the second largest law enforcement organization in the U.S. and is operated by the Department of Homeland Security.

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    9/ U.S. Immigrationa and Customs Enforcement // Wikimedia Commons

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    In charge of enforcing immigration and customs law, ICE has recently come under fire for carrying out a Trump administration policy that called for separating migrant parents from their children when they attempted to cross the border.

  • CBP
    10/ Steve Sapp // flickr


    Part of the Department of Homeland Security, this agency is a culmination of organizations with responsibilities of protecting the U.S. at its borders and ports of entries.

  • Customs and Border Protection
    11/ Brian Bell // flickr

    Customs and Border Protection

    When United States Customs and Border Protection was created in 2003, it was the first time one specific agency was tasked with protecting U.S. borders. Creating it was the largest federal government reorganization in more than 50 years.

  • NSA
    12/ axonite / pixabay


    Officially created by President Harry S. Truman in 1952, this part of the American intelligence community has been one of the government’s most secretive spy operations since the Cold War. It specializes in cryptology, the science of coding and decoding information.

  • National Security Administration
    13/ National Security Agency // Wikimedia Commons

    National Security Administration

    The National Security Agency operates under the Department of Defense, using mass information gathering to obtain data. In 2012, leaked documents from Edward Snowden detailed a wide range of secretive activities by this agency, including those meant to gather data on American citizens.

  • FBI
    14/ U.S. Army Materiel Command // Wikipedia Commons


    Created in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt and Attorney General Charles Bonaparte, this agency is one of the government's top law enforcement agencies. It also acts as an intelligence agency, reporting to both the attorney general and the director of national intelligence.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    15/ Federal Bureau of Investigation // Wikimedia Commons

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is headed by Christopher A. Wray and operates 56 field offices throughout major U.S. cities, as well as 380 resident agencies in smaller cities. A recent Department of Justice report put the agency’s credibility into question for mishandling an investigation into Hillary Clinton in regards to classified documents stored on her email server.

  • CIA
    16/ Cora M. Highsmith // Wikimedia Commons


    President Harry S. Truman created this agency in 1947 when he signed the National Security Act. Today it’s responsible for reporting national security intelligence to senior U.S. policymakers.

  • Central Intelligence Administration
    17/ Fry1989 // Wikimedia Commons

    Central Intelligence Administration

    Gina Haspel is the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency, but not without controversy. She’s been implicated in authorizing the practice of waterboarding, despite saying the techniques “should not have been undertaken” in her Senate confirmation hearing.

  • HUD
    18/ David Wilson // flickr


    This agency’s main mandate is to ensure fair and equal housing opportunities for all, providing housing and community development assistance.

  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
    19/ Tim Evanson // flickr

    Department of Housing and Urban Development

    The Department of Housing and Urban Development was created in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. It is currently headed by Secretary Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon and former Republican presidential candidate.

  • HHS
    20/ Shane Peter // Wikimedia Commons


    This civilian department aims to protect the health of all Americans and provides essential human services.

  • Department of Health and Human Services
    21/ Sarah Stierch // Wikimedia Commons

    Department of Health and Human Services

    The Department of Health and Human Services is charged with implementing Medicare and Medicaid, as well as overseeing the Food and Drug Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health. Alex Michael Azar is the current secretary of the department.

  • DOJ
    22/ William Cho // pixabay


    This department is in charge of upholding federal laws, preventing crime, and protecting the public against any type of safety threat. It’s also in charge of the federal prison system.

  • Department of Justice
    23/ Scott // flickr

    Department of Justice

    The 148-year-old Department of Justice is lead by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The department administers law enforcement agencies such as the Drug Enforcement Agency; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives; Federal Bureau of Investigation; and United States Marshals Service.

  • EPA
    24/ Dori // Wikimedia Commons


    This agency was established in 1970 to research, monitor, enforce, and set standards for environmental protection.

  • Environmental Protection Agency
    25/ Donkey Hotey // flickr

    Environmental Protection Agency

    President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency to protect the earth’s ecosystem against damage that had already been done and to prevent future degradation. It’s currently in controversy between upholding its mission and complying with the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back environmental rules and regulations.

  • DEA
    26/ stevepb // pixabay


    This law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice is charged with combating the sale and distribution of narcotics and other illegal drugs.

  • Drug Enforcement Administration
    27/ U.S. Government // Wikimedia Commons

    Drug Enforcement Administration

    Created by President Nixon in 1973, the DEA is currently lead by Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon, who was appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018. The DEA maintains its mission to enforce its classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, even though nine states and Washington D.C. have voted to legalize it for recreational use, and 30 states have legalized it for medical use in recent years.

  • FAA
    28/ Free-Photos // pixabay


    This division of the U.S. Department of Transportation is in charge of regulating civil aviation and U.S. commercial space transportation, maintaining and operating air traffic control and navigation systems for both civil and military aircraft, and developing and administering programs relating to aviation safety and the National Airspace System.

  • Federal Aviation Administration
    29/ Federal Aviation Administration // Wikimedia Commons

    Federal Aviation Administration

    The Federal Aviation Administration was established by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and became a part of the Department of Transportation in 1967. While it currently regulates air traffic control, libertarian activist Robert Poole has been pushing Congress for four decades to separate it from the FAA into its own organization.

  • FDIC
    30/ ahundt // pixabay


    This independent agency was created by Congress in 1933 to maintain stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system.

  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    31/ Matthew Bisanz // Wikimedia Commons

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was created in response to the thousands of bank failures that occurred in the 1920s and 1930s. It insures deposits up to $250,000 and is funded by deposit insurance and earnings on investments in U.S. Treasury securities paid by banks and other savings and loan institutions.

  • FEC
    32/ DSW4 // Wikimedia Commons


    This regulatory agency was created in 1975 to promote confidence and participation in the democratic process.

  • Federal Election Commission
    33/ U.S. Government // Wikimedia Commons

    Federal Election Commission

    President Theodore Roosevelt saw a need for campaign finance reform as early as 1905, but it wasn’t until reports of serious financial abuses in the 1972 presidential campaign that Congress took action. They amended the Federal Election Campaign Act in 1974 to set limits on contributions by individuals, political parties, and political action committees, and established the Federal Election Commission in 1975.

  • FEMA
    34/ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers // flickr


    This agency located within the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for managing the federal government’s response to natural and manmade disasters.

  • Federal Emergency Management Administration
    35/ Andrea Booher // Wikimedia Commons

    Federal Emergency Management Administration

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency was founded in 1979 under President Jimmy Carter. In 2003, the agency became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and was tasked with helping to ensure that first responders were able to deal with weapons of mass destruction. It’s currently headed by Brock Long.

  • FOIA
    36/ The Official White House Photostream // Wikimedia Commons


    This act gives the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency.

  • Freedom of Information Act
    37/ Cory Doctorow // flickr

    Freedom of Information Act

    Congress enacted the Freedom of Information Act in 1967. It requires federal agencies to disclose any information requested under the act unless it falls under one of nine exemptions, such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement.

  • IRS
    38/ 401K 2012 // flickr


    This government agency is in charge of enforcing the Internal Revenue Code.

  • Internal Revenue Service
    39/ Geraldshields11 // Wikimedia Commons

    Internal Revenue Service

    President Abraham Lincoln and Congress created the position of Commissioner of Internal Revenue in 1862, enacting an income tax to cover war costs. Although it was repealed shortly after, the 16th Amendment gave Congress the authority to collect income tax in 1913. The bureau changed its name to the Internal Revenue Service in 1953.

  • LOC
    40/ Carol M. Highsmith // flickr


    This is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, and it serves as the research arm of Congress.

  • Library of Congress
    41/ U.S. Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

    Library of Congress

    The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, housing millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps, and manuscripts. It’s also in charge of the U.S. Copyright Office and serves as the main research arm of Congress.

  • OSHA
    42/ U.S. Dept of Labor // Wikimedia Commons


    This agency develops and enforces government standards that protect worker safety at U.S. job sites.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
    43/ U.S. Government // Wikimedia Commons

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is headed by Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. It is housed in the Department of Labor and answers to the secretary of labor. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established the department, which offers certain protections to most private sector employers and their employees.

  • PTO
    44/ Alan Kotok // flickr


    This government agency has been around for more than 200 years, and is primarily responsible for trademark and patent applications.

  • Patent and Trademark Office
    45/ Nick Youngston // Creative Commons Images

    Patent and Trademark Office

    The Patent and Trademark Office not only grants U.S. patents and registers trademarks, they also advise the president, secretary of commerce, and government agencies on intellectual property policy, protection, and enforcement.

  • ROTC
    46/ Michael Crane // Wikipedia Commons


    Offered in U.S. colleges, universities, and high schools, this program trains students interested in serving as officers in the U.S. armed forces.

  • Reserve Officer Training Corps
    47/ U.S. Navy Photo // Wikimedia Commons

    Reserve Officer Training Corps

    Since World War II, the Reserve Officer Training Corps has been the biggest source of officers for the armed forces. Distinct ROTC programs exist for the army, navy, and air force.

  • SSA
    48/ nited States Air Force


    This independent federal agency provides income to people who are retired or have disabilities.

  • Social Security Administration
    49/ Public Domain // Wikimedia Commons

    Social Security Administration

    The Social Security Administration is the result of the Social Security Act, which President Roosevelt signed in 1935. Acting Commissioner of Social Security Nancy A. Berryhill oversees the program, which has a $12 billion budget and nearly 64,000 employees.

  • TANF
    50/ U.S. Department of Agriculture // flickr


    This government program helps needy families get on their feet and become self-sufficient.

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    51/ U.S. Department of Agriculture // flickr

    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families provides assistance to low-income families so that children can be cared for in their homes. It supports families so parents can prepare to apply for jobs, go to work, and maintain their marriages. It also encourages two-parent families.

  • TSA
    52/ Spencer Wing // pixabay


    This agency protects the nation’s transportation networks from attack.

  • Transportation Security Administration
    53/ U.S. Department of Homeland Security // Wikimedia Commons

    Transportation Security Administration

    The Transportation and Security Administration was founded in November 2001 in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. David P. Pekoske heads the current organization and is responsible for its nearly 60,000 employees. It is a division of the Department of Homeland Security.


    54/ Brian Morales // Wikipedia Commons


    This agency administers the country’s immigration system.


  • Immigration and Naturalization Service/United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
    55/ cytis // pixabay

    Immigration and Naturalization Service/United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

    The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is in charge of lawful immigration to the U.S. Led by L. Francis Cissna, the agency is staffed by 19,000 government employees and contract workers. Created within the Department of Homeland Security, the USCIS succeeds the INS, which was abolished in 2003.

  • USAF
    56/ Jimmy C. Pan // Wikimedia Commons


    The mission of this government agency is to “fly, fight, and win… in air, space, and cyberspace.”

  • United States Air Force
    57/ Public Domain Pictures // pixabay

    United States Air Force

    The United States Air Force is one of five branches of the military, headed by Secretary Heather A. Wilson—who reports to Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who reports to President Donald Trump. The Air Force was founded in 1907 as part of the Army, becoming independent in 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act.

    58/ U.S. Army // flickr


    This federal agency is in charge of foreign assistance to countries that are faced with disaster, poverty, and fledgling democracies.

  • United States Agency for International Development
    59/ U.S. Embassy // flickr

    United States Agency for International Development

    The United States Agency for International Development was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and offers assistance to developing countries. Administrator Mark Green leads the agency, which has operations in more than 100 nations.

  • USPS
    60/ annaj // pixabay


    This department delivers mail and packages to every address in the U.S., as well as its territories and military installations around the world.

  • United States Postal Service
    61/ John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

    United States Postal Service

    Founded in 1775, the United States Postal Service is the second-oldest federal department—Benjamin Franklin was its first postmaster general. It delivers to more than 157 million addresses across the globe.

  • VA
    62/ Ryan C. Delcore // Wikimedia Commons


    This department provides patient care and federal benefits to veterans and their dependents.

  • Department of Veterans Affairs
    63/ JeffOnWire // flickr

    Department of Veterans Affairs

    The Department of Veterans Affairs took shape in 1930, when President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 5398. Robert Wilkie is the current secretary of the administration, which boasts around 1,600 health care facilities.

  • VOA
    64/ M0TCX // Wikimedia Commons


    This government-funded, international, multimedia broadcast service provides news updates in more than 40 languages across the world.

  • Voice of America
    65/ Sarah Stierch // Wikimedia Commons

    Voice of America

    Initially established in 1942 to counteract Nazi propaganda efforts, Voice of America now provides news, information, and cultural programming through traditional and digital media efforts.

  • ATF
    66/ Michael Stern // Wikimedia Commons


    This law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice is charged with protecting the public against violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use of trafficking of firearms, and the illegal use and storage of explosives.

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
    67/ Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives // Wikimedia Commons

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is led by Deputy Director Thomas E. Brandon. It has a staff of 5,113 employees, which includes 2,623 special agents, and its annual budget in 2017 was $1.258 billion.

  • CFPB
    68/ Nick Youngson // Creative Commons Images


    This government agency supervises banks, lenders, credit reporting agencies, and debt collection companies.

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    69/ Ted Eytan // flickr

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, led by Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, supervises U.S. financial institutions; it also works with companies to make credit card, mortgage, and loan disclosures transparent for consumers. The bureau was created when the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed in 2010.

  • CBO
    70/ Monica Volpin //


    This government office independently analyzes budgetary and economic issues to support Congress in their budgeting process.

  • Congressional Budget Office
    71/ Congressional Budget Office // Wikimedia Commons

    Congressional Budget Office

    The Congressional Budget Office was formed as a result of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to provide nonpartisan information that would support the budget process. It draws on the expertise of roughly 225 analysts, and its current director is Keith Hall.

  • DOT
    72/ Daniel Schwen // Wikimedia Commons


    This agency is responsible for the nation’s transportation systems and infrastructure.

  • Department of Transportation
    73/ U.S. Department of Transportation // Wikimedia Commons

    Department of Transportation

    Congress established the Department of Transportation in 1966. It is currently led by Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

  • CDC
    74/ UK DIFD // flickr


    This governmental organization is in charge of public health efforts to prevent and control infectious diseases, environmental threats, and workplace hazards.

  • Centers for Disease Control
    75/ Center for Disease Control and Protection // Wikimedia Commons

    Centers for Disease Control

    The Centers for Disease Control was founded in 1946 and is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Robert R. Redfield, M.D., currently serves as CDC director.

  • NCES
    76/ Michael Anderson // Wikimedia Commons


    This institution collects, analyzes, and reports data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.

  • National Center for Education Statistics
    77/ National Center for Education Statistics // Wikimedia Commons

    National Center for Education Statistics

    The National Center for Education Statistics is part of the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. James Woodworth, Ph.D., is the commissioner of the organization.

  • FHA
    78/ emlees // pixabay


    This agency provides mortgage insurance on loans made by government-approved lenders throughout the country.

  • Federal Housing Administration
    79/ U.S. Government // Wikimedia Commons

    Federal Housing Administration

    The Federal Housing Administration insures mortgages on single and multi-family homes, as well as manufactured homes and hospitals. Founded in 1932, it has insured 47.5 million properties since its inception, making it the largest insurer of mortgages.


  • FOMC
    80/ Ryan Lawler // Wikimedia Commons


    This division of the Federal Reserve meets eight times a year to review economic and financial conditions to determine monetary policy.

  • Federal Open Market Committee
    81/ AlwaysAwakePR // Wikimedia Commons

    Federal Open Market Committee

    The Federal Open Market Committee is a branch of the Federal Reserve Board, which determines whether monetary policy stays the same or changes course. The chairman of the FOMC is Jerome Powell who, by tradition, is also the chair of the Board of Governors.

  • NLRB
    82/ Brad Perkins // Wikimedia Commons


    This independent federal agency protects the rights of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wage and working conditions.

  • National Labor Relations Board
    83/ Geraldshields11 // Wikimedia Commons

    National Labor Relations Board

    Employees who feel that their rights have been violated, or that their employer has engaged in unlawful behavior, can contact a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. The board has five members appointed by the president and approved by the Senate; they act as a quasi-judicial body in deciding cases.

  • NSC
    84/ The White House // Wikimedia Commons


    This group meets and advises the president of the United States on national security and foreign policy matters.

  • National Security Council
    85/ Nicholas F. // Wikimedia Commons

    National Security Council

    The National Security Council was established under President Harry S. Truman by the National Security Act of 1947. Chaired by the president, it regularly includes the vice president, secretary of state, secretary of the treasury, secretary of defense, and the assistant to the president.

  • OMB
    86/ Jericho // Wikimedia Commons


    This office assists the president in overseeing federal agencies carrying out the federal budget.

  • Office of Management and Budget
    87/ Nick Youngson // Creative Common Images

    Office of Management and Budget

    Director Mick Mulvaney leads the Office of Management and Budget in carrying out its objectives. The office’s primary job is to prepare the president’s annual budget request and submit it to Congress.

  • SS
    88/ Chuck Patch // Wikimedia Commons


    This federal law enforcement agency is mandated by Congress to physically protect the nation’s highest elected leaders and government officials.

  • Secret Service
    89/ U.S. Government // Wikimedia Commons

    Secret Service

    The United States Secret Service was founded at the end of the American Civil War to combat counterfeiting of U.S. currency. Currently led by Director Randolph D. Alles, it not only focuses on physically guarding the people who hold the highest offices in the U.S., but also helps the Department of Homeland Security protect American citizens from harm.

  • CPSC
    90/ Marcin Cieslak // Wikipedia Commons


    This independent federal agency protects U.S. consumers from potentially harmful or dangerous products sold domestically.

  • Consumer Product Safety Commission
    91/ Pool Safety // Wikimedia Commons

    Consumer Product Safety Commission

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission was established in 1972 under the Consumer Product Safety Act to protect the public “against unreasonable risks of injuries associated with consumer products.” The agency is headed by Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle and four commissioners, each serving staggered seven-year terms.

  • BLS
    92/ pashminu // pixabay


    This group within the Department of Labor measures labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
    93/ United States Department of Labor // Wikimedia Commons

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    The mission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics is to measure labor market activity, as well as analyze and disseminate information to help public and private decision-making. The department is headed by a commissioner appointed by the president, who oversees 2,400 employees—mainly economists and statisticians.

  • USFA
    94/ itfhenry // Wikimedia Commons


    This division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is the lead agency for fire data collection, public fire education, fire research, and fire service training.

  • United States Fire Administration
    95/ skeeze // pixabay

    United States Fire Administration

    Congress passed the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act in 1974, which created the United States Fire Administration. Its mission is to curtail fire-related deaths through data collection, public education, research, and training. The agency is lead by U.S. Fire Administrator G. Keith Bryant.

  • NCI
    96/ skeeze // pixabay


    This is the U.S. government’s principal agency for cancer research.

  • National Cancer Institute
    97/ U.S. Government // Wikimedia Commons

    National Cancer Institute

    Congress passed the National Cancer Act of 1937 to support cancer research and establish the National Cancer Institute. Director Dr. Norman E. Sharpless leads the organization’s 3,500-person team, which has a mission to save lives from the disease by supporting research across the country.

  • NASA
    98/ Scott Andrews // Wikimedia Commons


    This independent federal agency is in charge of the nation’s space program.

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    99/ Slammer111 // Wikimedia Commons

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is led by Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who leads a staff of more than 18,000 people charged with military aerospace research, development of space missions, and training of astronauts. NASA was created in 1958 in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of its first satellite, Sputnik I.


    100/ Sarah Dietz // flickr


    This agency is in charge of creating cutting-edge technologies and capabilities for national security.

  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
    101/ DARPA // Wikimedia Commons

    Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

    Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency dates back to the 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik I, when the U.S. resolved to be an innovator in technological advances. DARPA is headed by Dr. Steven H. Walker, who oversees 230 government employees who are responsible for nearly 250 research projects.


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