—–Envelope, Chair:
——–Mr./Ms./Dr. (Full Name)
——–(Name of Board/Committee)

—–Envelope, Member:
—-—-Mr./Ms./Dr. (Full Name)
—-—-(Name of Board/Committee)


—–Salutation, in writing:
—-—-Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. (Full Name):

—–Salutation, less formally or conversation:
—-—-Chair/Chairman/Chairwoman (Surname):


Is a Woman a Chairwoman, Chairman, or Chair?

How would a woman board chair’s title be listed? Would it be chairman or chairwoman or just board chair? Last year a man held the position and, of course, the program read, ‘Chairman of the Board’.
———————– Sarah

Dear Sarah,
I don’t think there is just one way to do this.

Traditionally, the position was Chairman of the Board. That’s the terminology used when you discuss the position.

But a woman holding the position can be a Chair, Chairwoman or even a Chairman. Often the term used is at her personal preference: She gets the one she likes.

You aren’t the only one trying to figure out what is best. In checking The United States Senate’s website, it refers to a heads of the political parties’ conferences and committees as Chairs. In this case they have abandoned the gender-specific terminology.

But, on that same page the Senate also lists the heads of Standing Committees as Chairmen. When the office appears next to the name of the office holder, the word Chairman is used when the position is held by a man and the word Chairwoman is used when the position is held by a woman.

I’m not criticizing anyone, just noting I don’t observe a rule that everyone follows.

– Robert Hickey

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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