How to Address a Former Foreign Ambassador Who Is a Now a Consul General?
We have the Consul General of Brazil coming for a visit next month. He once served as a Brazilian ambassador earlier in his career. Does he retain that title? How should he be addressed?
—-—-His Excellency (Name)
—-—-The Honorable (Name)
—————–– Fuller Wilson
Dear Mr. Wilson,
How to Address a Consul or Consul General
Summary: When he is present as a consul general, address him as a consul general. Forms of address are courtesies of the office: address him as he comes to you. This is especially true if other currently accredited ambassadors and other consuls general are present.
—-#1) Only the singular, currently accredited ambassador from one country to another country at a time is addressed as His/Her/Your Excellency. So, no to ‘excellency’.
—-#2) It is true that former ambassadors continue to be addressed as Ambassador (Name). He is likely to prefer ‘Ambassador (Name)’ socially and in unofficial situations. It’s a higher office. But here he is attending in another role, so he should be addressed in the style appropriate for how he is attending. So, no to ‘Ambassador (Name)’.
—-#3) ‘The Honorable’ is used when addressing U.S. officials. He’s not a U.S. official. So, no to ‘the Honorable’.
—-#4) I would be sensitive to his preferred form of address – not wanting to hurt his feelings. But I would also consider that how you officially address him defines who he is at that moment. If he is present as a consul general, what will it say to the consuls generals of other countries if you call him ‘Ambassador (Name)’? Maybe they won’t care. Maybe they will.
—-#5) Use the full, official name of the country, nor the short form. Identify him as the Consul General of the Federative Republic of Brazil.
– Robert Hickey How to Address a Consul or Consul General