How to Address a Goodwill Ambassador

Is a Goodwill Ambassador Addressed as Ambassador (Name)?

My father was a goodwill ambassador in the 1970’s for the White House as part of a business group going to tour the world.  He has since decided to use the title as part of his name, ‘Ambassador John Doe’, on anything and everything.  Does a goodwill ambassador have the right to use ‘Ambassador (Name)’ for the rest of his or her life?
—–—–—–—-– TW

Dear TW,
—–—–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name)


—–—–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name), Goodwill Ambassador of …
—–—–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name), who served as a Goodwill Ambassador of …

—–—–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Surame)

—–#1) Former goodwill ambassadors do not have a special form of address. Being a goodwill ambassador is a role or job – not a diplomatic rank one is granted & keeps. Current and former goodwill ambassadors are formally addressed with the honorific to which they are entitled in their private life and (when appropriate) identified as a goodwill ambassador.

—–#2) Current goodwill ambassadors are not addressed like an diplomatic ambassador. That means they are not addressed as ‘the Honorable (Full Name)’,  ‘His/Her Excellency (Full Name)’, or as ‘Ambassador (Name)’. Current goodwill ambassadors are addressed with the honorific to which they are entitled ‘Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Name)’ and identified after their name as a ‘Goodwill Ambassador’.

—–In writing this would be:
—–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name), Goodwill Ambassador of ….

—–Salutation and Orally in Conversation:
—–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Surname)

—–When introducing a goodwill ambassador use:
—–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name), is a Goodwill Ambassador of …

A goodwill ambassador asking to be addressed as ‘Ambassador (Name)’ is like someone with an honorary doctorate the asking to be addressed as ‘Dr. (Name)’. Those who have been awarded an honorary doctorate do not have an academic degree: they have an ‘honor.’  Honors are correctly listed on a resume/CV with honors and awards … not as education.

Some people with honorary doctorates want to be addressed as ‘Dr. (Name)’.  If they think they have a degree, they should apply for a teaching position at a university and see if the faculty thinks they have a doctorate.

– Robert Hickey

—–Forms of Address for Ambassadors:
—–—–U.S. Ambassador by a U.S. Citizen
—–—–U.S. Career Ambassador Retired
—–—–U.S. Ambassador, Retired Foreign Service
—–—–U.S. Ambassador, former, political appointee
—–—–U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom
—–—–Goodwill Ambassador
—–—–Foreign Ambassador
—–Related Diplomats:—Attaché
—–—–Chargé d’Affaires
—–—–Consul General
—–—–Consul Honorary
—–—–Deputy Chief of Mission
—–—–First Secretary
—–—–Second Secretary
—–—–Third Secretary


Not Finding Your Question Answered?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  After checking the list and reading the posts, if you don’t see your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, I will post the question & answer – always changing the names and specifics.

— Robert Hickey

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