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How to Address the Secretary of State

Updated April 17, 2017

If you are scheduled to meet the Secretary of State, it is important to know how to address her and show adequate respect and sensitivity towards her status. While some important people may prefer a more casual way of communicating, it's nonetheless important to begin each meeting by assuming that the interaction is highly formal.

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  1. Stand until the Secretary of State sits down and gestures for others to do so. Although this isn't a strict protocol, it's nonetheless a sign of appropriate respect for a high-status person.

  2. Address the Secretary of State as "Madame Secretary" if the position is held by a woman, or "Mr Secretary" if held by a man.

  3. Always introduce the Secretary of State as "The Honorable..."

  4. Address envelopes to:

  5. The Honorable

  6. (Person's full name)

  7. Secretary of State

  8. Washington, D.C. 20520

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About the Author

Joe Burnham

Joe Burnham has been a writer since 2008, working with British magazines such as "NME." His articles have been featured in "The Independent" newspaper, London's "Time Out" magazine and "York Vision," where he served as editor-in-chief. Burnham holds a Bachelor of Arts in politics and international relations from the University of York.

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