How to Address a Designate
How to Address a Nominee

How to Address Someone Likely to Get an Office – Not Yet in Office?

A person identified  for an official position gets no title to use as part of their name — until they assume office / are sworn into office.   They are addressed in the manner to which they are entitled – Mr./Mrs./Dr./etc., other rank, or a courtesy title such as the Honorable – if they are entitled to it from prior service. How to Address a Nominee

—-Envelope or address block of letter or email:
—-—-—-Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Full name)

—-—-Or if they are retired military:
—-—-—-(Full Rank) (Full name), (Branch of Service), Retired
—-—-—-(Address) How to Address a Nominee

—-—-Or if they are already the Honorable based on prior service:
—-—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

—-  #1) In the media such persons are often described as the (Office)-designate or (Office)-nominee.   Those are descriptive terms, not titles to be used in direct address. Only once sworn in does anyone get an honorific to use with their name.

—- #2) They are not ‘-elect’.  They weren’t elected.   They are not ‘pro tempore / pro tem’.  That refers to an official acting in the absence of the regular official … like the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate acts for the President of the Senate when he or she is away.

—- #3) It’s my understanding the process is (A) designated, (B) nominated, (C) confirmed – then (D) appointed.  With the appointment comes the swearing in.  With the swearing in come the courtesies of the office.  Elevated forms of address are courtesies of the office.

— Robert Hickey

Related Posts:
—-Candidate for Office
—-The Honorable, Use of
—-The Late, Use of
—-Pro Tempore


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.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

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”