Serving as Under Secretary of State for only ten months, from August 1928 to June 1929, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., made his mark as a statesman, diplomat, and scholar of international affairs. To this date, he remains the highest ranking diplomat to come from the state of Utah.
The office of Under Secretary of State was provided for by law in 1919. It was hoped that since the Secretary of State was a political appointee, the Under Secretary would be chosen from the career service or from the experienced personnel in the Department in order to give a greater degree of continuity to the Department's work.
When J. Reuben Clark, Jr., was appointed Under Secretary of State in 1928, he was already the seventh Under Secretary to serve in less than ten years. Only three, including Clark, had not been from the career service.