The Department of Magic is the governing body of wizardry in the United States. Founded in its current form in 1789, it is headquartered in Washington D.C. There are also large regional offices of the Department in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans and Miami.
Prior to the American Revolution, American wizards and witches of European origin were nominally governed by the Ministry of Magic of European colonial powers, though control was generally weak. Native American magic folk owed their loyalty to their own nations and did not generally recognize the International Statute of Secrecy. During the muggle Confederation period (1776-1789), wizards and witches in each of the former British colonies attempted self-governance with varying degrees of success.
The Department of Magic is headed by the Secretary of Magic, who is also the magical liaison with the President of the United States. The Department is a member of the International Confederation of Wizards and is responsible for enforcing international agreements including the Statute of Secrecy. The Department is organized into divisions, including the Division of Magical Law Enforcement, which includes both the Auror office and the Bureau of Magical Investigation (BMI); the Division of Magical Transportation; the Division of Foreign Affairs; the Division of Commerce; the Division of Magical Education; and the Division of Magical Health Care.
The Division of Magical Education has formal oversight over Kaaterskill Academy of Magic, the oldest and primary magical school for young American and Canadian witches and wizards, as well as any other magical schools and academies. Kaaterskill usually operates with a great degree of autonomy, depending on the personal prestige and power of its Headmaster.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Department was peripherally involved in the first war between the U.K. Ministry of Magic and Lord Voldemort. During the late stages of that conflict, significant Death Eater cells organized under Hafgan, a shadowy American follower of the Dark Lord. While never as significant threat in the United States as in the U.K., the Death Eaters carried out a number of atrocities, mainly aimed at Department officials and their families, including Aurors. In 1981, a contingent of American and Canadian aurors disrupted a Death Eater mission to Table Mountain, Newfoundland, which contained a magical force Voldemort wished to harness. The Death Eaters were thwarted; the only survivors of the incident were two young American aurors,Griffin and Diana Lloyd, and Hafgan himself. When Voldemort was thwarted by Harry Potter a few months later, the American Death Eaters were quickly suppressed; many were arrested, some released from the Imperius Curse, others killed in battle with Aurors.
Ernest Dithers became the 35th Secretary of Magic in 1989.