How to Address a Secretary in a State Cabinet

How to Address a Secretary in a State Cabinet

—-Official envelope: How to Address a Secretary in a State Cabinet
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
——–(Name of Department)
—-
—-(Complete Address)

—-Address block on a letter or email: How to Address a Secretary in a State Cabinet
——–The Honorable (Full Name)
——–
Secretary of (Department)
—-
—-(Name of Department)

—-—-(Complete Address)

—-Social envelope: How to Address a Secretary in a State Cabinet
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-(Complete Address)

—-As a salutation use:
—-—-Dear Secretary (Surname):

How to Address a Secretary in a State Cabinet

How to Address an Invitation to a Secretary in a State Cabinet

I am addressing an invitation to the secretary of our state’s Dept. of Agriculture, trade and Consumer Protection. How do I address a state-level official? Is he the Honorable?   Are the addressed as “Mister/Madam Secretary”?
—-—-– PD How to Address a Secretary in a State Cabinet

Dear PD:
#1) Job titles are not included on invitations and other social correspondence.   The idea is it is the person being invited …. not the job. A state secretary of a cabinet-level department is addressed:

—-Social envelope / invitation: How to Address a Secretary in a State Cabinet
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-(Complete Address)

—-Inside envelope:
—-—-Secretary (Surname)

#2) When I was researching my book, I polled a number of state secretaries. When it came to being addressed just by their job title, they unanimously preferred:

—-The Honorable (Full Name)
——–and
—-Secretary (Surname)
—-—–TO
——–The Secretary of (Department)
—-——-and
——–Mr./Madame Secretary

One state secretary expressed it this way: “there is only one US Secretary of our discipline in the Cabinet in Washington … but there are 50 of us at the state level … so the singular title makes less sense.”

– Robert Hickey How to Address a Secretary in a State Cabinet

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"