The United States, as well as many other countries, maintains embassy offices in countries all over the world. The office serves an important function in friendly foreign relations between the home and host governments.
In the most basic terms, "embassy" refers to both a diplomatic mission that is set up permanently in a host country, and the actual building that is home to embassy offices.
An embassy helps to preserve and protect the relationship between the host country and the country represented by that particular embassy office. The embassy can be a point of contact, or base of communication, between two countries.
Embassy workers can help resolve conflicts, ease and observe political tensions in the host country, or reach resolutions on issues as varied as trade tariffs between the host country and the country of origin. Embassy workers can also assist travelers visiting the host country in distress.
The embassy support staff is typically made up of economic officers who handle economic disputes and negotiate such things as patents, taxes and tariffs, consular officers who deal with traveler related issues like issuing visas, and political officers who follow the political climate in the host country and issue reports to travelers and their home government.
Head of the Embassy
The ambassador is in charge of the support staff and usually gains the position through political nomination. Ambassadors typically have training in foreign relations before starting the position.