How to Address a Chair or Member of Commission

Overview: How to Address the Chair or Member of a Commission

‘Mr. Commissioner’. ‘Commissioner’ or ‘Commissioner (Name)’ are forms used when addressing a singular official who is someone with a THE in front of ‘Commissioner’. This includes officials such as the Commissioner of Baseball, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue, or the Commissioner for Patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office …. not someone serving as a member of a city commission.

Few appointed members of commissions are ‘the Honorable’ unless they are very, very high. For example, it would have to be someone appointed by the President of the United States (or your state’s governor) and individually approved by the Senate.

Below are forms of address for a ‘chair of the commission’ and ‘members of a commission’ – note they are not ‘commissioners’.

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

How to Address a Member of Commission

Use the honorific the person normally uses …  ‘Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Name)’ … for a member of a commission:

—-Official envelope or address block on an email:
——–
Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name)

——–(Name of Commission)
——–(Address)

—-Salutation :
——–Dear Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Surname):

—-Conversation:
——–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Surname):

————Which looks like:
—————-Mr. Wilson Harding
—————-Arlington County Arts Commission
—————-3456 78th Street
—————-Arlington, Virginia 22201

————Salutation or conversation:
—————-Dear Mr. Harding:

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

Chairman of a Commission
Typically those on commission are a ‘chair’ and ‘member’ of a commission – and are not addressed as ‘Commissioner (Name)’.  It is possible someone might orally address him/her as ‘Commissioner’ or ‘Commissioner (Name)’. But in writing the chair of a commission is ‘Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Name)’ and is identified as the ‘chair’.  Use this form:

—-Official envelope or address block on an email:
——–Mr./Ms./Dr./Etc. (Full Name)
——–Chair/Chairman/etc.
——–(Name of Commission)
——–(Address)

—-Salutation:
——–Dear Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Name):

—-Conversation:
——–Dear Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Name):

————Which looks like:
—————-Ms. Virginia Inge
—————-Chairman
—————-Arlington County Arts Commission
—————-3456 78th Street
—————-Arlington, Virginia 22201

————Salutation or conversation:
—————-Dear Ms. Inge:

– Robert Hickey

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#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)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or 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, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"