List of titles

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This is a list of personal titles arranged in a sortable table. They can be sorted:

  • Alphabetically
  • By language, nation, or tradition of origin
  • By function. See Separation of powers for a description of the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative functions as they are generally understood today. Titles that bestow functional authority with minimal executive, judicial, or legislative power are listed as Administrative. Titles that bestow political or spiritual authority with minimal executive, judicial, or legislative power are listed as Ceremonial.
  • By manner in which the title is usually achieved. Most title-holders are Appointed to their rank by someone higher in the system or Elected by people equal in the system. Historically, many titles were achieved through Hereditary birthright. A few historical titles have been randomly Chosen By Lot or Purchased outright. For those unofficial titles granted as a sign of respect, such as Mister or Prophet, the word Identified is used here.
  • By scope of authority. Especially with historical titles, this scope may have changed over time, but the most usual understanding of the title today is implied. Personal titles are not part of a governing body, and have authority only over those who individually choose to follow the title-holder. Tribal titles give the title-holder authority over a bloodline rather than a physical geography. Institutional titles are mostly confined to a specific campus, corporation, temple, or other private or semi-public institution. Divisional is applied to most military & police ranks, with the number of people under that rank's command listed when known. Local titles are those with authority in a metropolitan or similar area, such as a mayor. Provincial titles are those with authority over a constituent state, such as a United States governor. Regional titles are those with authority over multiple constituent states, such as a federal judge. Courtly titles have no sovereign power of their own but are granted high prestige by, and are possibly able to exert influence over, a head of state. Similarly, Diplomatic titles bear no sovereignty of their own, but are vested with the equivalent of sovereignty by a head of state. National titles are at the level of a head of government or head of state, with authority over a sovereign nation. Supranational titles are those with authority over multiple sovereign nations. Supernatural titles are those applied solely to deceased figures, such as saints, or to superhuman beings, such as angels and gods.

For in-depth information please follow the links to individual titles.

Title Origin Function Usual Source of Authority Usual Breadth of Authority
Abbess or Abbot Latin Executive Elected Institutional (abbey)
Admiral of the Fleet European Executive Appointed Divisional (highest naval rank)
Agha Kurdish, Turkish, Persian Administrative Identified or Appointed (Debatable) Tribal
Aesymnetes Greek Executive Elected National
Agonothetes Greek Administrative Elected Institutional (sacred games)
Agoranomos Greek Executive Elected Institutional (marketplace)
Air Marshal British Administrative Appointed Divisional (very senior air force rank)
Aircraftman British Administrative Appointed Divisional (lowest air force rank)
Akhoond Persian Ceremonial Appointed/ identified? Institutional (mosque)
Alderman Old English Administrative/executive Elected An elected member of a city council
Allamah Arabic Ceremonial Identified Personal
Amban Manchu Executive/ legislative Appointed Provincial/ supranational
Amir al-Mu'minin Arabic Executive Hereditary/ identified National/ supranational/ tribal
Amphipole Greek Executive/ judicial Elected? National
Anax Greek Executive Hereditary Supranational
Apodektai Greek Administrative Appointed Tribal
Apostle Greek Ceremonial Appointed/ Identified Personal/ supernatural
Arahant Pali Ceremonial Identified Personal/ supernatural
Archbishop Greek Executive/ judicial Appointed Provincial (diocesan)
Archdeacon Christian Administrative Appointed Institutional (local church)
Archduchess or Archduke German Ceremonial/ executive Hereditary Courtly/ supranational
Archiater Greek Administrative/ executive Appointed Institutional (court (royal))
Archimandrite Greek Ceremonial/ executive Appointed Institutional (abbey)
Archon Greek Executive/ judicial Elected Local/ national
Archpriest Christian Administrative Appointed Provincial
Argbadh Persian Executive Appointed Institutional (castle)
Arhat Sanskrit Ceremonial Identified Personal/ supernatural
Asapatish Persian Executive Appointed Divisional (cavalry unit)
Aspet Armenian Executive Hereditary Courtly
Assistant in Virtue Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Assistant Professor American Administrative Appointed Institutional (university)
Assistant to the President & Deputy National Security Advisor American Executive Appointed National
Associate Professor American Administrative Appointed Institutional (university)
Aswaran Salar Sasanian Empire Executive Appointed Divisional (entire cavalry)
Augusta Greek Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Ayatollah Persian Judicial Appointed (based on studies at a hawza) Personal
Baivarapatish Persian Executive Appointed Divisional (baivarabam of 10,000 soldiers)
Bapu Hindi Ceremonial Identified Courtly/ personal
Baron or Baroness French Executive Hereditary Local
Basileus or Basilissa Greek Executive/ ceremonial/ judicial Hereditary/ elected National
Beauty Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Bishop Christian Executive Appointed Provincial (diocesan)
Blessed Latin Ceremonial Appointed Supernatural
Begum Turkish Ceremonial Appointed Courtly/ personal
Buddha Pali/ Sanskrit Ceremonial Identified Personal/ supernatural
Cardinal Christian Administrative Appointed Institutional (College of Cardinals)
Cardinal-nephew Latin Administrative Appointed Institutional (College of Cardinals)
Caesar Latin Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Caliph Arabic Executive Elected/ hereditary Supranational
Captain (land) European Executive Appointed Divisional (75- 200 soldiers)
Captain (naval) English Executive Appointed Divisional (large ship)
Catholicos Greek Executive Appointed Regional
Centurion Latin Executive Appointed Divisional (80 or more soldiers)
Chairman or Chairwoman English Administrative/ executive/ legislative Appointed/ elected Institutional (Meeting)
Chakravartin Sanskrit Executive Identified/ hereditary Supranational
Chancellor Latin Administrative Appointed Courtly
Chanyu Xiongnu Executive Hereditary Tribal
Chhatrapati Marathi Executive Hereditary National/ supranational
Chief or Chieftain Global Executive/ judicial/ legislative Elected/ hereditary Tribal
Chiliarch Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (1,000 soldiers)
Chorbishop Greek Executive Appointed Provincial (diocesan)
Choregos Greek Administrative/ ceremonial Purchased Institutional (theatre festival)
Coiffure Attendant Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Comes Latin Ceremonial Appointed/ identified Courtly/ supernatural
Commissioner of Baseball Amero-Canadian Executive Elected Institutional (Major League Baseball)
Concubinus Roman Ceremonial Appointed Personal
Consort Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Consul Roman Executive/ judicial Elected National
Corporal Italian Executive Appointed Divisional (2nd in command of a squad of 8 to 14 soldiers)
Corrector Latin Executive/ judicial Appointed Regional
Councillor Latin Legislative Elected Local
Count or Countess Latin Executive Hereditary Provincial
Dàifu (Great Man) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Dalai Lama Tibetan Ceremonial Appointed Supranational
Dame or Dom Latin Ceremonial Appointed/ identified Institutional (British knighthood, English Benedictine Congregation)
Dathapatish Persian Executive Appointed Divisional (dathabam of 10 soldiers)
Deacon or Diakonissa Greek Administrative Appointed Institutional (local church)
Dean (religion) Christian Administrative Appointed Institutional (local church)
Decurio Roman Executive Appointed Divisional (command of a ''contubernium'' of 8 soldiers)
Desai Indo-Aryan Administrative Appointed/ hereditary Provincial
Despot Greek Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Dilochitès Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (dilochia army double file)
Dikastes Greek Judicial Chosen by lot Tribal
Dimoirites Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (dimoiria army half file)
Distinguished Professor American Administrative Appointed Institutional (university)
Divine Adoratrice Egyptian Executive/ ceremonial Hereditary National
Diwan Persian Executive Appointed/ hereditary National/ provincial
Doctor European Administrative Appointed Institutional (university)
Don or Doña Spanish Ceremonial/ executive Identified Local/ national
Duchess or Duke Latin Executive Hereditary National/ Regional
Dux Latin Executive Appointed Divisional (two legions- 9,000 soldiers or more)
Earl or Countess Anglo-Saxon Executive Hereditary Provincial
Earl Marshal English Administrative/ judicial Hereditary Courtly/ national
Ecumenical Patriarch Greek Ceremonial/ judicial Elected? Supranational
Elder Anglo-Saxon, Arabic, Australian, Germanic, Greek, Latin, Mayan, Slavic Legislative Elected/ identified Tribal
Emperor or Empress Latin Executive Hereditary Supranational
En Sumerian Ceremonial/ executive Hereditary? Local/ national
Ephor Greek Executive Elected National
Epihipparch Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (1,000 horses)
Esquire or Squire French Administrative/ executive/ judicial/ legislative Appointed/ hereditary Local/ personal
Evangelist Christian Administrative Appointed Institutional (Latter Day Saint movement)
Exarch Greek Executive Appointed Provincial
Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King Egyptian Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Faqih Arabic Judicial Appointed Institutional (Sharia)
Fellow English Administrative Appointed Institutional (university)
Fidalgo Portuguese Executive Hereditary Provincial
Fidei defensor Latin Ceremonial Appointed/ hereditary National
Field Marshal German Executive Appointed Divisional (highest army rank)
Foreign minister European Administrative Appointed Diplomatic
Furén (High-Ranking Madam) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Fürst or Fürstin German Executive Hereditary Provincial
Ganden Tripa Tibetan Ceremonial Appointed Institutional (Gelug sect)
Generalissimo Spanish Executive Elected (by fellow military commanders) National
God's Wife Egyptian Ceremonial Appointed Institutional (cult of Amun)
Gong or Gong Bao (Lord) Chinese Ceremonial/ executive Appointed/ identified Provincial/ supernatural
Goodman or Goodwife British Ceremonial Identified Personal
Gothi or Gyoja Old Norse Ceremonial/ executive Elected? Tribal
Governor Roman Executive Appointed/ elected Provincial
Governor-General European Executive Appointed National/ regional
Grand Admiral French Executive Appointed Divisional (highest naval rank)
Grand duchess or Grand duke Germanic Executive Hereditary National
Grand Inquisitor Latin Judicial Appointed National/ supranational
Grand Master European Ceremonial/ executive Identified Institutional (Freemasonry, Knights Hospitaller, Knights Templar, Teutonic Knights)/ supranational
Grand prince Latin Executive Hereditary National
Guardian Immortal Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Hadrat Arabic Ceremonial Identified Personal
Handsome Fairness Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Haty-a Egyptian Executive Appointed? Local
Hazarapatish Persian Executive Appointed Divisional (hazarabam of 1,000 soldiers)
Headman Zuni & !Kung people amongst others Ceremonial Identified Personal
Hegumen or Hegumenia Greek Executive Appointed Institutional (abbey)
Hekatontarchès Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (100 soldiers)
Hellenotamiae Greek Administrative Elected? Tribal
Herald European Administrative/ diplomatic Appointed Institutional/ national
Her/His/Your Excellency English Ceremonial/ executive Appointed/ elected/ hereditary Diplomatic/ national
Her/ His/ Your Grace British Executive/ legislative Hereditary Regional
Her/ His/ Your Highness European Ceremonial Hereditary Courtly
Her/ His/ Your Illustrious Highness European Ceremonial Hereditary Provincial
Her/ His/ Your Imperial Highness European Ceremonial Hereditary Courtly
Her/His/Your Imperial Majesty European Executive Hereditary Supranational
Her/Your Ladyship or His/Your Lordship British Executive/ legislative Hereditary Provincial
Her/ His/ Your Majesty European Executive Hereditary National
Her/ His/ Your Royal Highness European Ceremonial Hereditary Courtly
Her/ His/ Your Serene Highness European Executive Hereditary National
Herzog German Executive Hereditary Regional
Hidalgo Spanish Executive/ legislative Appointed/ hereditary Provincial
Hierodeacon Greek Administrative Appointed Institutional (local church)
Hieromonk Greek Administrative Appointed Institutional (monastery)
Hierophant Greek Ceremonial Appointed? Institutional (Eleusinian Mysteries)
High priest or High priestess Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Samaritan, Santería, Shinto Ceremonial Appointed Institutional (temple)
Hipparchus (cavalry officer) Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (hipparchia of 500 horsemen)
His Eminence Christian Executive/ administrative Appointed/ elected National/ supranational
Hojatoleslam Arabic Ceremonial Appointed Personal
Ilarchès Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (wing cavalry unit)
Imam Arabic Ceremonial Identified Institutional (mosque)/ supernatural
Imperator or Imperatrice Latin Executive Identified Divisional (legion of about 4,500 soldiers)
Inquisitor Latin Judicial Appointed Supranational
Jagirdar Indian Executive Appointed Provincial
Jiàoshòu (Instructor) Chinese Administrative Identified Institutional (university)
Junior Technician British Administrative Appointed Divisional (non-supervisory)
Kanstresios Greek Administrative Appointed Institutional (office of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople)
Karo Japanese Administrative Appointed Institutional (Castle)
Khan or Cham Central Asian Executive Hereditary National/Supranational
Khawaja Arabic Ceremonial Hereditary/ identified Tribal
King or Queen English Executive Hereditary National
King of Arms European Ceremonial Appointed National
Kolakretai Greek Administrative Appointed Local
Kumar or Kumari Sanskrit Ceremonial Appointed/ hereditary National/ provincial
Lady or Lord British Executive Hereditary/ identified/ purchased Institutional (Manor, Peerage of the United Kingdom)/ Provincial/ Supernatural
Lady of His Majesty Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Lady of Treasure Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Laoshi (Old Master) Chinese Executive/ judicial/ legislative Identified Personal
Lecturer British Administrative Appointed Institutional (university)
Legatus Roman Executive Appointed Divisional (top rank)
Leading Aircraftman or Leading Aircraftwoman British Administrative Appointed Divisional (non-supervisory)
Lochagos Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (75 to 200 soldiers)
Lonko Mapudungun Executive Hereditary? Tribal
Lord Great Chamberlain English Ceremonial Hereditary Courtly
Lord High Constable English Ceremonial/ executive/ judicial Hereditary Courtly
Lord Privy Seal English Administrative Appointed National
Lugal Sumerian Executive Hereditary Local/ national
Madam or Sir French Ceremonial/ executive Appointed/ identified Divisional (knight)/ personal
Magister Officiorum Latin Administrative Appointed Institutional (palatine secretariat)
Magister Militum Latin Executive Appointed Divisional (top level)
Maha-kshtrapa Sanskrit Executive Appointed/ hereditary Regional
Maharaja or Maharani Sanskrit Executive Hereditary National/ regional
Maharana Hindi Executive Hereditary National/ regional
Maharao Hindi Executive Hereditary National/ regional
Mahatma Sanskrit Ceremonial Identified Personal
Major archbishop Christian Executive Appointed Provincial (diocesan)
Malik or Malikah Arabic Executive/ legislative/ judicial Hereditary Local/ national/ supernatural/ tribal
Mandarin Chinese Administrative Appointed (based on Imperial examination) National
Marzban Persian Executive Appointed Provincial
Master of the Horse Roman Executive Appointed Courtly
Master of the Sacred Palace Christian Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Mawlawi Persian Ceremonial Identified Institutional (madrassa)
Mayor Latin Executive/ legislative Elected/ appointed Local
Metropolitan Bishop Christian Executive/ judicial/ legislative Appointed Local
Mirza Persian Executive Hereditary Courtly
Monsignor French Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Mullah Persian Ceremonial Identified Institutional (Sharia)
Naib Arabic Executive Appointed/ elected Local/ tribal
Nakharar Armenian Executive Hereditary Local
National Security Advisor American Administrative Appointed National
Navarch Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (equivalent to a modern four-star rank)
Nawab Hindi/ Urdu Executive Hereditary Provincial
Nawabzada or Nawabzadi Persian/ Urdu Ceremonial Hereditary Courtly
Nizam Urdu Executive Hereditary National/ regional
Nobilissimus Latin Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Nomarch Egyptian Executive Appointed/ hereditary Provincial
Nuncio Latin Administrative Appointed Diplomatic
Nushi (Mistress) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Optio Latin Executive Appointed Divisional (centuria of about 100 soldiers)
Palatine Latin Administrative Appointed Provincial/ supernational
Pastor Latin Ceremonial Elected Institutional (local church)
Patriarch Greek Executive Identified Tribal
Patroon Dutch Executive Appointed Institutional (colonial manor)
Paygan Salarapoo Persian Executive Appointed? Divisional (entire infantry)
Peace Be Upon Him Arabic Ceremonial Identified Supernatural
Peshwa Marathi Executive Appointed/ hereditary Supranational
Pharaoh Egyptian Executive Hereditary National
Pir or Pirani Persian Administrative Identified Personal
Polemarch Greek Executive Appointed/ chosen by lot/ elected National
Pope Latin Executive Elected National/ supranational
Praetor Roman Executive/ legislative Elected National
Presbyter Greek Ceremonial/ Executive Appointed/ Elected Local
President Latin Executive Elected Institutional/ national
President pro tempore Latin legislative Elected by Senate state/national
Presiding Patriarch Christian Administrative Hereditary Institutional (Latter Day Saint movement)
Priest Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Neopagan, Pagan, Shinto, Zoroastrian Ceremonial Appointed Institutional (temple)
Primate Latin Ceremonial/ judicial Appointed Courtly/ national
Prime minister English Executive/ legislative Appointed National
Prince or Princess Latin Ceremonial/ executive Hereditary National/ Provincial
Princeps Latin Executive Identified Supranational
Principal Lecturer British Administrative Appointed Institutional (university)
Prithvi-vallabha Indian Executive Hereditary Regional
Professor Latin Administrative/ ceremonial Appointed Institutional (university)
Professor Emeritus Latin Ceremonial Identified Institutional (university)
Propagator of Deportment Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Protodeacon Greek Administrative Appointed Institutional (local church)
Proxenos Greek Administrative Purchased Diplomatic
Prytaneis Greek Administrative Appointed Local/ tribal
Pursuivant European Administrative Appointed Institutional (College of Arms or similar body)
Rabbi Hebrew Ceremonial Identified Institutional (synagogue)
Raja or Rani Sanskrit Executive Hereditary National/ tribal
Rajmata Sanskrit Ceremonial Appointed National/ regional
Reader British Administrative Appointed Institutional (university)
Recipient from the Inner Chamber Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Recipient of Edicts Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Rector Latin Administrative Elected Institutional (university)
Reverend Christian Ceremonial Identified Personal
Roju Japanese Administrative Appointed National
Sacristan Christian Administrative Appointed/ elected Institutional (local church)
Saint Latin Ceremonial Appointed/ identified Institutional/ personal/ supernatural
Sakellarios Greek Administrative Appointed Supranational
Sahib or Sahibah Arabic Ceremonial/ executive Hereditary/ identified National/ personal
Satrap Persian Executive Appointed Provincial
Savakabuddha Pali Ceremonial Identified Personal
Sayyadina Fictional Dune universe Ceremonial Identified Tribal
Sebastokrator Greek Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Sebastos or Sebaste Greek Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Secretary of State European Administrative Appointed Diplomatic/ national
Selected Lady Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Senior Aircraftman or Senior Aircraftwoman British Administrative Appointed Divisional (non-supervisory)
Senior Lecturer British Administrative Appointed Institutional (university)
Sergeant Latin Executive Appointed Divisional (squad of 8 to 14 soldiers)
Servant in the Place of Truth Egyptian Ceremonial Appointed? Institutional (Theban Necropolis)
Service Provider Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Shah Persian Executive Hereditary National
Shaman Global Ceremonial Identified Tribal
Shifu (Protector Teacher) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Shigong (Teacher of my Teacher) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Shimu (Woman of my Teacher) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Shofet Hebrew Executive/ judicial Elected National/ tribal
Shōgun Japanese Executive Hereditary National
Sibyl Greek Ceremonial Identified Institutional (holy site)
Somatophylax Greek Executive Appointed Courtly
Soter Greek Ceremonial Identified Supernatural
Spahbod Persian Executive Appointed Divisional (army corps of about 60,000 soldiers)
Sparapet Armenian Executive Hereditary Divisional (supreme military commander)
Sri or Sushri Devanagari Ceremonial Identified Personal
Starosta Cyrillic Executive Appointed/ elected Local/ national
Strategos Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (highest army rank)
Subedar British/ Indian Executive Appointed Divisional (highest native rank in British India)
Sultan Arabic Executive Hereditary National
Sunim Korean Ceremonial Identified Institutional (temple)
Swami Sanskrit Ceremonial Identified Personal
Syntagmatarchis Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (regiment of 300 to 5,000 soldiers)
Tagmatarchis Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (tagma of 500 to 1500 soldiers)
Taitai (married Madam) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Talented Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Tanuter Armenian Executive Hereditary Local
Taoiseach Irish Executive Appointed National
Taxiarch Greek Executive Appointed Divisional (brigade of 4,000 to 5,000 soldiers)
Temple boy Thai Administrative Appointed Personal
Tenzo Buddhist Administrative Appointed? Institutional (monastery)
Tetrarch Greek Executive Appointed Supranational
Thakore or Thakurani Indian Executive Hereditary Provincial
Theorodokoi Greek Administrative Appointed Diplomatic
Theoroi Greek Administrative Appointed? Diplomatic
The Most Honourable British Executive/ legislative Hereditary Provincial
The Right Honourable English Administrative/ ceremonial/ legislative Appointed/ hereditary Local/ national
Tirbodh Persian Executive Appointed Divisional (archers)
Tóngzhi (Comrade) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Toqui Mapudungun Executive Elected Tribal
Towel Attendant Tang dynasty Ceremonial Appointed Courtly
Tribune Latin Legislative Elected National
Trierarch Greek Executive Purchased Divisional (trireme ship)
Tsar or Tsaritsa Bulgarian Executive Hereditary National/ supranational
Unsui Japanese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Upasaka Sanskrit Ceremonial Appointed Personal
Upajjhaya Sanskrit Ceremonial Appointed? Personal
Vajracharya Nepalese Ceremonial Hereditary/ identified Institutional (monastery)
Varma Indian Executive Appointed/ hereditary Courtly/ regional
Venerable Buddhist/ Christian Ceremonial Appointed Institutional/ supernatural
Vicar general Christian Administrative Appointed Provincial (diocesan)
Viceroy or Vicereine European Executive Appointed National/ regional
Voivode Bulgarian Executive Appointed/ hereditary Divisional/ provincial
Weiyuán (Delegate) Chinese Legislative Appointed? National
Xiaojie (Little Woman) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Xiansheng (Firstborn) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Xiaozhang (Senior) Chinese Executive Appointed Institutional (school)
Xry Hbt Egyptian Ceremonial Appointed? Institutional (ritual center)
Yisheng (Medical Scholar) Chinese Administrative Appointed/ identified Institutional (Traditional Chinese medicine)/ personal
Yishi (Medical Master) Chinese Administrative Identified Institutional (Traditional Chinese medicine)
Yuvraj or Yuvrani Indian Ceremonial Hereditary Courtly
Zamindar Devanagari Executive/ judicial Appointed/ hereditary Local/ provincial
Zongshi (Ancestral Teacher) Chinese Ceremonial Identified Personal
Zhuxi (Chairperson) Chinese Executive Elected National