Specifically I'm looking for:

  • Agency canonical names
  • Agency abbreviature/acronym
  • Hierarchy of agencies e.g. Census Bureau is part of Department of Commerce
  • Agency logos
  • Website/social media accounts
  • HQ Address/contact info
  • What is the intended use of this information?
    – Kermit
    May 8, 2013 at 19:32
  • Thinking of building open data dashboard for US Government. e.g. tracking progress of agencies in releasing open data, (basic metrics on # of datasets released, types of data, etc). But can be used in any similar web/apps where you need to compare USG agencies to each other in any fashion. May 8, 2013 at 19:35
  • Any insights on Agency logos? May 9, 2013 at 17:26
  • OK, agency logos are actually in Federal Register json file (links to Amazon bucket) May 9, 2013 at 22:57

12 Answers 12


Check out:

Source: https://github.com/unitedstates/orgchart/issues/1

  • In particular, here is the api link from the issue: federalregister.gov/api/v1/agencies
    – AdamH
    May 8, 2013 at 19:16
  • 2
    @todrobbins You should try to provide direct links to information and resources rather than linking to other aggregations. May 8, 2013 at 19:17
  • 3
    And you should summarize the content of the linked page. In 6 months or less, your link might become broken and your answer useless.
    – Vince
    May 8, 2013 at 19:25
  • 1
    Also keep in mind that if I'm not mistaken, the FR link only includes agencies that publish in the Federal Register; that's any agency that engages in rulemaking or posts notices to the public via the FR, which is probably most agencies, but I don't know that it's all of them. May 10, 2013 at 3:09
  • 1
    FYI - there's also a handy list of the Federal Register agency listing here - federalregister.gov/agencies
    – Gray B.
    Jul 22, 2014 at 16:41

It's hard to know if this is canonical, and it's not structured, but there is the USA.gov Government Departments and Agencies page, which includes an A-Z list. It doesn't have all of the data you are looking for, but it's a start.


We created this API to power GSA's Social Media Registry. http://registry.usa.gov/agencies (see also http://registry.usa.gov/agencies.json)

Here's what it has:

  • Basically every organization within the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
  • Basically every independent organization.
  • Some sub-agencies that people think are independent, like the FBI, which is part of DOJ, and the IRS which is part of Commerce.
  • Readable UIDs in the form of commonly-used acronyms or short names. E.g. Federal Aviation Administration is "faa" and Department of State is "state."
  • Each organization's main URL.

It'd be great to add links to logo pngs and the ability to identify parent/child relationships.

  • IRS is part of Commerce? I thought it was Treasury. We make IRS checks to Dept of the Treasury.
    – Tom Au
    May 20, 2017 at 19:17
  • Tom, my mistake! Yes IRS is part of Treasury. I mistyped. Aug 24, 2018 at 18:59

The data.gov website has a list of federal agencies and the sub-agencies in a downloadable csv or Excel format.

It looks like:

Agency Name                 Abbr    Subagency Name                             Sub Abbr
Department of Agriculture   USDA        
Department of Agriculture   USDA    Department/Agency Level                     USDA
Department of Agriculture   USDA    Agricultural Marketing Service              AMS
Department of Agriculture   USDA    Agricultural Research Service               ARS
Department of Agriculture   USDA    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service  APHIS
Department of Agriculture   USDA    Departmental Management                     DM

The above links were correct in listing the raw API locations. If you are interested in HOW to pull the data from the API and filter the catalog by agency, there is a good tutorial by the GSA and Jed Sundwall: Howto.gov DigitalGov University: Learn How to Use and Create APIs

Note that the API responses may be in JSON or XML.


I'm not sure about an API but here is a list of regular agencies:


It looks easy enough to scrape. Each agency has a detail page:


With the following info: Website, Contact via the Web, E-mail: [email protected], address, and phone number


The short answer to this question is no, although there are partial lists, like those identified above. The problem is that there's an incredibly long tail of government created entities. It sounds like you don't need a comprehensive list, however, but rather some of the larger players.

This is an ongoing area of political action. Jim Harper of the Cato Institute has written and testified on this issue, for example.

There's also a problem with agency structure and organization charts changing over time. The folks who are best at tracking this (oddly enough) is the Government Printing Office's Superindendent of Documents, who assigns government documents a SuDoC number.


The official list of Federal agencies (and organizations) were once located in FIPS 95-1 and FIPS 95-2, known as the "Codes for the Identification of Federal and Federally-Assisted Organizations". This was replaced by a Federal Register notice to dat maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Federal Agency Directory API: http://www.usa.gov/About/developer-resources/federal-agency-directory/index.shtml

Census of Government (State and Local Directory): http://www.census.gov/govs/


The U.S. Government Manual provides Agency canonical names, a hierarchy of each agency, HQ addresses, agency homepages, and names of agency leaders. It's available in XML and PDF. You can download the entire current (2013) edition, or separately download individual sections, from the Government Printing Office website.


User 250 mentions Jim Harper of CATO and his testimony before Congress on the issue. I've recently started working with Jim on a project called Deepbills and one of the earlier tasks for this project was compiling this data.

It's not API access but it is machine-readable and there's some scripts to handle processing of it. If you look in the catoxml-entity-lookups git repo for it you'll find a directory of source information as well as the scripts that work on it.

The real payoff, in my opinion, is the contents of the lookup table directory. They're in XML format and we use them extensively for lookups on the Deepbills tool. Consult the CatoXML reference section on entity lookup tables to see how we make use of them; since there's not canonical reference IDs you'll see that in our usage we have a timestamp to indicate when that lookup was fresh.

I think the above mention is obvious but just in case: DISCLOSURE - I am a consultant working with Jim Harper and CATO on this project and have effectively inherited this from Francis Avila, whose git repository of the data is linked above.


In addition to the APIs already mentioned, some other agency APIs are at Permits.Performance.gov and Registry.USA.gov.

(Disclaimer - I am the Sr. API Strategist for GSA)


I have been using the list of government agencies published here: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/GSA/data/gh-pages/dotgov-domains/current-full.csv

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