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An officer-elect is a person who has been elected to a position but has not yet been installed.[1][2] Notably, a president who has been elected but not yet installed would be referred to as a president-elect (e.g. president-elect of the United States).

Analogously, the term -designate (e.g. prime minister-designate) is used for the same purpose, especially when someone is appointed rather than elected (e.g., Justice-designate).


This usage of the term -elect originated in the Catholic Church, where bishops were elected but would not take office until ordained. In addition, the winner of a papal election would be known as the pope-elect until he was confirmed and actually became pope.[3]

The term entered politics with the practice of elective monarchy. For example, the Holy Roman emperor was elected by a college of prince-electors, but the winning candidate would not become emperor until he was crowned by the pope. Between election and coronation, he was known as the imperator electus, or emperor-elect.[4]

By the 19th century, the term had expanded to describe any position in which a substantial period of time elapses between election and installation. For example, it was common in the 19th century to refer to a fiancée as a bride-elect.[5][6]

Official positions in organizations[edit]

The bylaws of some clubs and other organizations may define an official position of president-elect similar to a vice president position.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] The members of the organization elect the president-elect, rather than directly electing the organization's president.[15] The president-elect may be given limited duties, similar to a vice president. At the end of the term, the president-elect is promoted to the position of president, and a new president-elect is elected. The advantage of this schema is a clear continuity of succession, as well as the opportunity to familiarize the president-elect with the operations of the organization before becoming president. A possible drawback is that once a president-elect has been elected, another person cannot be elected president unless the president-elect resigns or is removed from office.[15]

The position of president-elect is different from someone who was elected president and is called "president-elect" between the time of election and the start of the term. For example, if an election for president was held in January, but the term of office does not begin until March, the person who was elected president may be called "president-elect" but does not hold any power until the term begins in March. On the other hand, someone in the position of president-elect has all the powers of that position that the bylaws provide.

Similarly, organizations may have other official positions such as vice president-elect, secretary-treasurer-elect, director-elect, and chair-elect.[14][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]


  1. ^ "Elect- Definition of Elect". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  2. ^ "English definition of "elect"". Cambridge Dictionaries Online. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  3. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Pope Severinus" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Emperor Charles V" in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia.
  5. ^ "elect, adj. and n.". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  6. ^ "bride, n.". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  7. ^ "President-Elect/President/Immediate Past President". www.asha.org. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  8. ^ "Board Position - President Elect | Association for Childhood Education International". acei.org. Archived from the original on 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  9. ^ "Duties of President-Elect | OFWIM – Organization of Fish and Wildlife Information Managers". www.ofwim.org. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  10. ^ "President-Elect Competencies and Responsibilities". www.tesol.org. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  11. ^ "President-Elect Description - American Psychiatric Nurses Association". www.apna.org. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  12. ^ "President Elect". Texas Foreign Language Association - TFLA. Archived from the original on 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  13. ^ "Elections | SOA". www.soa.org. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  14. ^ a b "Executive Committee - Radiation Research Society (RADRES)". www.radres.org. Archived from the original on 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  15. ^ a b Robert, Henry M.; et al. (2011). Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press. p. 457. ISBN 978-0-306-82020-5.
  16. ^ "Secretary-Elect Position Description". NCURA Region I "Supporting research together... in New England". Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  17. ^ "ACTE Global :: Association of Corporate Travel Executives". www.acte.org. Archived from the original on 2016-04-30. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  18. ^ "Treasurer-elect, Treasurer or Immediate Past Treasurer Position Description". www.eatrightpro.org. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  19. ^ "Elections • National Art Education Association". www.arteducators.org. Archived from the original on 2016-02-07. Retrieved 2016-01-29.
  20. ^ "Director Elect- ISA". www.isa.org. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  21. ^ "State Director-Elect | Wisconsin State Council SHRM". www.wishrm.org. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  22. ^ "Vice-Chair / Chair-Elect". www.aallnet.org. Archived from the original on 2016-02-03. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
  23. ^ "Duties of the Chair/Chair-Elect of the Faculty". ncsu.edu. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22. Retrieved 2016-01-30.