The Protocol School of Washington

Robert Hickey, "Honor & Respect"

White House Staff
Staff of the POTUS
Staff of the First Lady

How to Address the Chief of Staff ?

I will be sending a letter to the White House Chief of Staff. I am pretty sure the Chief of Staff to the President is addressed as The Honorable (Full Name).
Which salutation do I use? Is it?  How to Address White House Staff
—–Dear Mr. (Last Name):
—–Dear Chief of Staff (Last Name):
—–—–—–– Kyle in Chicago

Dear Kyle:
The Chief of Staff to the President of the United States (POTUS), as well as certain assistants, counselors, and personal representatives to the POTUS are addressed as ‘the Honorable’. How to Address the Chief of Staff of the POTUS

There is no official list published of who is and who is not ‘the Honorable‘ in the Administration. (And let me tell you I have looked.)  Precedence-wise the Chief of Staff is on the level of the Cabinet. Not far below in precedence are the Assistants to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff (e.g. for Planning and Implementation, Policy Coordination, Operations and Communications), Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Spouse of the President, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Vice President, and the Assistants to the President.  I don’t believe these are addressed as ‘the Honorable’ but wish I had confirmation.)

Chief of Staff and others addressed as the Honorable:
—-—-Official envelope:
—-—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-—-(Office Held)

—-Everyone else in the West Wing is addressed as:
—-—-—-Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Name)
—-—-—-(Office Held)

—-For all in a salutation or conversation:
—-——–Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Name)

Chief of Staff is not used as an honorific with a name. State chiefs of staff are not necessarily the Honorable, but  the Chief of Staff to the POTUS always is.

– Robert Hickey   How to Address the Chief of Staff of the POTUS   How to Address White House Staff

Robert Hickey, "Honor & Respect"

Member of the First Lady's Staff Member of the First Lady's Staff?

I am sending a letter to a member of the First Lady's staff. Her full title is Associate Director, Office of Public Engagement and Counsel to the First Lady. How should it be addressed? Since she works in the White House – is she addressed as the Honorable (Name)? Thanks for your help! ------------– AD at a national association

Dear AD: While some members of the President's staff are 'the honorable' (Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Spouse of the President) – none of the First Lady's dedicated staff are. A member of the First Lady's staff is Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Name). Use whichever honorific to which they are entitled.

----Official envelope: --------Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full Name) --------The White House --------Washington, DC, 20500

----Conversation or salutation: --------Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Surname):

– Robert Hickey How to Address White House Staff

Robert Hickey, "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms of Address 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 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 – but leave out your name and change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey, "Honor & Respect"

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