Diplomats at an Embassy

How to Address a Counselor
How to Address a First Secretary
How to Address a Second Secretary
How to Address a Third Secretary
How to Address an Attaché
How to Address an Assistant Attaché

All the diplomats listed above are addressed with the honorific to which they are entitled/prefer – Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr./etc.+(Name). Only an ambassador has a special form of address based on their diplomatic office: See the list of links to the types of ambassadors below. See also the example in the first Q&A on this page (below): How to Address a Diplomat.

—-—-Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr. (Full Name)
—-—-(Diplomatic Rank / Office)
—-—-Embassy of (Official Name of Country)

—-—-Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr. (Surname):

—-—-Mr./Mrs./Ms./Dr. (Surname)


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

How to Address a Diplomat?

How should I address foreign diplomats who are not the ambassador – rather, they are in the ambassador’s office. Their positions are:
—-Counselor, Deputy Chief of Mission
—-Counselor, Congressional Liaison Officer
Thanks in advance for your assistance,
—————– Ellen

Dear Ellen:
Only an accredited ambassador who has presented his credentials to the chief-of-state – or head of the international organization – is addressed as ‘His/Her Excellency (Full Name)’ or in direct address ‘Your Excellency’.

Everyone else at a foreign embassy is:

—-Address block on the letter:

—-—-Mr./Mrs./Ms. (Full Name)
—-—-(Office Title)
—-—-Embassy of (Official Name of Country)

 ————-Which looks like:
 ————-Mr. Ivan Franceus
 ————-Counselor, Congressional Liaison Officer
 ————-Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium
 ————-1234 Peacock Street, N.W.
 ————-Washington, DC 5678

—-In a salutation they would be
—-—-Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. (Surname):

‘Counselor’ is not used before the name as an honorific in writing. Include their (office) after their name for identification as pertinent.

RE: Use of ‘Mrs.’ or ‘Ms.’: Internationally ‘Ms.’ is not as ubiquitous as it is in the U.S., but a foreign diplomat serving in the U.S. would be familiar with it. For more on honorifics for women see the post Mrs. vs. Ms.

– Robert Hickey  How to Address a Counselor — How to Address an Attaché — How to Address Secretary


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”