The Policy Planning Staff (sometimes referred to as the Policy Planning Council, the Office of Policy Planning or by its in-house acronym S/P) is the principal strategic arm of the United States Department of State. It was created in 1947 by renowned Foreign Service Officer George F. Kennan at the request of Secretary of State George Marshall to serve "as a source of independent policy analysis and advice for the Secretary of State." Its first assignment was to design the Marshall Plan.
Past directors include George F. Kennan, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Jake Sullivan, Dennis Ross, Gregory B. Craig, Paul Wolfowitz, Paul Nitze, and Richard Haass, and past members include Zbigniew Brzezinski, Sandy Berger, Kori Schake and Michael Armacost. At least 14 past members of the Policy Planning Staff have served as Ambassadors.