Dear Ms. Young:
—-#1) Such high former officials appointed by the President and approved by the Senate continue to be in writing:
————The Honorable (Full Name)
—-In conversation, former secretaries are no longer addressed as Mr./Madam Secretary or Secretary (Surname) as they were when they were in office. Formally they go back to the form of address to which they were entitled before becoming a Secretary. Secretary is not a permanent rank that one is elevated to and keeps like Dr., ambassador or judge.
—-#2) But, certainly in the media former secretaries are addressed, and referred to, as Secretary (Name). While this informs the viewer/reader why this person’s opinion might be interesting, it can also be misleading. Aware reporters are quick to note their ‘former’ status so no one mistakenly thinks they are the current office holder.
—-Some former office holders insist upon being addressed as Secretary (Name) in their post-office private endeavors. Most of the time it doesn’t create confusion, but in the presence of a current Secretary of (Portfolio) one should avoid addressing a former secretary as Secretary (Name).
—-#3) Perhaps the most important reason not to address this former secretary as Secretary (Name) is his current role as a paid lobbyist promoting the points of view of his client. A current Senator or member of the House would likely know he/she is speaking to a former secretary, but should not address him as in the style of a secretary during a lobbying interaction.
—-Envelope and in the letter’s address:
—-—-Mr. (Full Name)
—-—-(Name of new affiliation)
—-—-Dear Mr. (Surname):
– Robert Hickey