How to Address a Deputy Secretary
How to Address an Undersecretary
How to Address an Assistant Secretary
of a U.S. Executive Department

Modify these forms for an deputy, undersecretary, or assistant secretary.

—-Envelope: How to Address a Deputy Secretary
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
——–(Name of office held)
—-(Complete address)

—-Address block on a letter or email:
—-—-The Honorable (Full Name)
—-—-(Name of office held)
—-(Complete address)

—-—-Mr./Ms./Dr. (Name)——–Note #1 Below

—-—-Mr./Ms./Dr. (Name)——–Note #1 Below


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

—-Note #1:  Orally you will hear these job titles used as an honorific to emphasize or clarify his/her job in an interaction. For example, you could orally say ‘Deputy Secretary (Name) will be here in five minutes.’ or ‘The Secretary of (department) cannot attend. You will be greeted by Deputy Secretary (Name)’.

—-The media will frequently use the job before the name to clarify to their readers/viewers who this person is: ‘According to Under Secretary of State (Name) …’.  They may even call the person Under Secretary (Name) during an interview.

—-But, traditionally and formally these job titles are not used as an honorific –in writing or conversation.

—-And deputies, unders and assistants definitely are not addressed as Mr./Madam Secretary or Secretary (Name).  That’s their boss.

– Robert Hickey   How to Address a Deputy Secretary How to Address an undersecretary how to address an assistant secretary

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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”