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Executive Secretariat

Forms of Address

General Guidelines

Address Blocks

Most high-level officials are referred to as The Honorable [not Honorable] in the address block for letters and envelopes.

Guideline Salutation
In official correspondence, greetings are followed by a colon. Dear Mr. President:
Dear Judge Smith:
For high-level officials, e.g., VicePresident, Cabinet Members, Judges, etc., use the person’s title in the salutation. Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:
Dear Mr./Madam Vice President:
Most elected officials, e.g., Governors, Members of Congress, Judges, are greeted with Dear [Title]: Dear Governor:
Dear Senator:
For lower-level officials, use Dear Mr./Ms. [not Mrs.] [Surname]: Dear Ms. Smith: [e.g., state representative]
Dear Mr. Jones: [e.g., Deputy Secretary]
Use Dear Mrs.[Surname] only for the First Lady or when addressing the spouse of a deceased official (such as for a condolence note.) Dear Mrs. Obama:
Dear Mrs. Bush:

Specific Examples

 

The Senate

Note: all U.S. Senators and Representatives have webpages with contact information.

Senate Official Address Block and Salutation
Senator The Honorable [Full Name]
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator [Surname]:
President of the Senate The Honorable [Full Name]
President of the Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator [Surname]:
Majority/Majority Leader of the Senate The Honorable [Full Name]
Majority/Minority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Majority/Minority Leader [Surname]:
Former Senator The Honorable [Full Name]
[No Title]
[Personal Address]
Dear Senator [Surname]:
Senator-elect The Honorable [Full Name]
United States Senator-elect
[address, if given, or]
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
Office of a recently deceased Senator Mr./Ms. [Full Name]
Administrative Assistant
Office of the Late [Full Name of Senator]
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:

 

House of Representatives

House of Representatives Official Address Block and Salutation
U.S. Representatives The Honorable [Full Name]
U.S. House of Representatives
[Congressional District Address, or]
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative [Surname]:
U.S. Delegates from DC and U.S. Territories The Honorable [Full Name]
Washington Delegate from [Name of Territory], or
Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
Speaker of the House of Representatives The Honorable [Full Name]
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr./Madam Speaker:
Majority/Minority Leader of the House The Honorable [Full Name]
Majority/Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Majority/Minority Leader [Surname]:
Former Representative The Honorable [Full Name]
[No Title]
[Personal Address] Dear Mr./Ms.: [Surname]
Representative-elect The Honorable [Full Name]
U.S. Representative-elect
[address, if given, or]
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
Office of a recently deceased Representative Mr./Ms. [Full Name]
Administrative Assistant
Office of the Late [Full Name of Representative]
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:

 

Congressional Committees

Committee Official Address Block and Salutation
Committee Chairperson The Honorable [Full Name]
Chair[wo]man, [Name of Committee]
U.S. Senate/House of Representatives]
Washington, DC 20510 [or 20515 for House Committees]
Dear Mr. Chairman/Madam Chairwoman:
Subcommittee Chairperson The Honorable [Full Name]
Chair[wo]man, [Name of Subcommittee]
[Name of Parent Committee]
U.S. Senate/House of Representatives]
Washington, DC 20510 [or 20515 for House Committees]
Dear Senator/Representative [Surname]:
Joint Committee Chairperson The Honorable [Full Name]
Chair[wo]man, [Name of Joint Committee]
Congress of the United State
Washington, DC 20510
[Senate] Dear Mr. Chairman/Madam Chairwoman:
[House] Dear Representative [Surname]:
Chief Counsel of a Committee Mr./Ms. [Full Name]
Chief Counsel, [Name of Committee]
U.S. Senate/House of Representatives]
Washington, DC 20510 [or 20515 for House Committees]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:

 

The White House and EOP Officials

White House Official Address Block and Salutation
The President The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr./Madam President:
The Spouse of the President Mr./Mrs. [Full Name]
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr./Mrs. [Surname]:
The Vice President The Vice President
The White House
Washington, DC 20501
Dear Mr./Madam Vice President:
Heads of EOP Offices [OMB, OSTP, etc.] *specific addresses and zip codes should be verified by checking the office’s/council’s website. The Honorable [Full Name]
[Title]
[Name of Office/Council]
Washington, DC 20501*
Dear Mr./Ms.:

 

Cabinet-level Officials

Note: verify addresses/zip codes at the specific Department’s website.

Cabinet Official Address Block and Salutation
Members addressed as Secretary The Honorable [Full Name]
Secretary of [Department]
Washington, DC [ZIP]
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:
Attorney General (Head of the Department of Justice) The Honorable [Full Name]
Attorney General
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Mr./Madam Attorney General:
Acting Secretary The Honorable [Full Name]
Acting Secretary of [Department]
Washington, DC [ZIP]
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:
Under Secretary The Honorable [Full Name]
Under Secretary of [Department]
Washington, DC [ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
Former Secretary The Honorable [Full Name]
[Personal Address]
Dear Secretary [Surname]:

 

Federal Officials

Note: verify addresses/zip codes at the specific Agency’s website.

Federal Official Address Block and Salutation
Head of a Federal Agency, Authority, or Board The Honorable [Full Name]
[Title]
[Name of Agency]
Washington, DC [ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
Chairperson of a Federal Commission or Board The Honorable [Full Name]
Chair[wo]man, [Name of Commission or Board]
Washington, DC [ZIP]
Dear Mr. Chairman/Madam Chairwoman:
Member of a Federal Commission or Board The Honorable [Full Name]
Member
[Name of Commission or Board]
Washington, DC [ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
U.S. Attorney The Honorable [Full Name]
U.S. Attorney for the [Region] District of [State or Commonwealth]
[Address]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
U.S. Marshal The Honorable [Full Name]
U.S. Marshal for the District of [State or Commonwealth]
[Address]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
Postmaster General The Honorable [Full Name]
Postmaster General
Washington DC 20260
Dear Mr./Madam Postmaster General:

 

State Officials

Note: Spell out the name of the state inside the address block. But, use the two-letter abbreviation on the envelope.

State Official Address Block and Salutation
Governor The Honorable [Full Name]
Governor of [Name of State or Commonwealth]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Governor [Surname]:
Acting Governor The Honorable [Full Name]
Acting Governor of [Name of State or Commonwealth]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
Former Governor The Honorable [Full Name]
[No Title]
[Full Address]
Dear Governor [Surname]:
Lieutenant Governor The Honorable [Full Name]
Lieutenant Governor of [Name of State or Commonwealth]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
Attorney General The Honorable [Full Name]
Attorney General
State* of [Name of State]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Madam Attorney General:
Secretary of State The Honorable [Full Name]
Secretary of State
State* of [Name of State]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:
Member of a State Senate The Honorable [Full Name]
State* of [Name of State] State Senate
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Senator [Surname]:
Member of a [non-Senate] State Legislature [e.g., House of Delegates or State Assembly] The Honorable [Full Name]
Member of [Name of State Legislature]
State* of [Name of State]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
State Supreme Court officials The Honorable [Full Name]
[Title]
Supreme Court of the State * of [Name of State]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Madam [Title]:
Other State Officials The Honorable [Full Name]
[Title]
State* of [Name of State]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:

*For Kentucky, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, use Commonwealth instead of State, e.g., Commonwealth of Virginia.

 

Diplomatic Officials

Note: Letters to Diplomatic Officials who are out of the country should be sent to the Department of State, through its Executive Secretariat].

Diplomatic Official Address Block and Salutation
Governor The Honorable [Full Name]
Governor of [Name of State or Commonwealth]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Governor [Surname]:
Acting Governor The Honorable [Full Name]
Acting Governor of [Name of State or Commonwealth]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
Former Governor The Honorable [Full Name]
[No Title]
[Full Address]
Dear Governor [Surname]:
Lieutenant Governor The Honorable [Full Name]
Lieutenant Governor of [Name of State or Commonwealth]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
Attorney General The Honorable [Full Name]
Attorney General
State* of [Name of State]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Madam Attorney General:
Secretary of State The Honorable [Full Name]
Secretary of State
State* of [Name of State]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:
Member of a State Senate The Honorable [Full Name]
State* of [Name of State] State Senate
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Senator [Surname]:
Member of a [non-Senate] State Legislature [e.g., House of Delegates or State Assembly] The Honorable [Full Name]
Member of [Name of State Legislature]
State* of [Name of State]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
State Supreme Court officials The Honorable [Full Name]
[Title]
Supreme Court of the State * of [Name of State]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Madam [Title]:
Other State Officials The Honorable [Full Name]
[Title]
State* of [Name of State]
[City, State ZIP]
Dear Mr./Ms. [Surname]:
American Ambassador The Honorable [Full Name]
American Ambassador
[City]
[Country]
Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:
Foreign Ambassador to the U.S. His/Her Excellency [Full Name]
Ambassador of [Name of Country]
[Address]
Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:
Foreign Minister The Honorable [Full Name]
Minister of [Name of Country]
[Address]
Dear Mr./Madam Minister:

 

Supreme Court and other Federal Courts

Court Official Address Block and Salutation
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court The Chief Justice
The Supreme Court of the United States
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20543
Dear Chief Justice:
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Justice [Surname]
The Supreme Court of the United States
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20543
Dear Justice [Surname]:
Other Federal Courts The Honorable [Full Name]
[Title]
U.S. Court of [Name of Court]
[City, State, ZIP]
Dear Judge [Surname]:

 

This page last reviewed on July 23, 2013

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