United States order of precedence

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The United States order of precedence lists the ceremonial order for domestic and foreign government officials, military and civic leaders at diplomatic, ceremonial, and social events within the United States and abroad.[1] Former Presidents, Vice Presidents, First Ladies, Secretaries of State and Supreme Court Justices are also included in the list. The order is established by the President, through the Office of the Chief of Staff,[1] and is maintained by the State Department's Office of the Chief of Protocol.[2] It is only used to indicate ceremonial protocol and has no legal standing; it does not reflect the presidential line of succession or the co-equal status of the branches of government under the Constitution. The Office of the Chief of Protocol posted an updated order of precedence on December 6, 2016.

Details as of January 17, 2017[edit]

Except as otherwise noted, positions in the list are from the following two sources.[3][4]

  1. President of the United States (Barack Obama)
  2. Vice President of the United States (Joe Biden)
  3. Governor (of the state in which the event is held)
  4. Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (Paul Ryan)
  5. Chief Justice of the United States (John Roberts)
  6. Former Presidents (ordered by term):
    1. Jimmy Carter (January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981)
    2. George H. W. Bush (January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993)
    3. Bill Clinton (January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001)
    4. George W. Bush (January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009)
  7. Former Vice Presidents (ordered by term; note that George H. W. Bush, who would otherwise appear in this list, already appears above as a former President):
    1. Walter Mondale (January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981)
    2. Dan Quayle (January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993)
    3. Al Gore (January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001)
    4. Dick Cheney (January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009)
  8. Ambassadors from the United States (at the Ambassador's post)
  9. Secretary of State (John Kerry)[5]
  10. Ambassadors to the United States (ordered by the presentation of their credentials)
  11. Associate Justices of the Supreme Court (ordered by appointment):
    1. Anthony Kennedy (February 18, 1988)
    2. Clarence Thomas (October 18, 1991)
    3. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (August 10, 1993)
    4. Stephen Breyer (August 3, 1994)
    5. Samuel Alito (January 31, 2006)
    6. Sonia Sotomayor (August 8, 2009)
    7. Elena Kagan (August 7, 2010)
    8. 1 vacant seat
  12. Retired Chief Justices of the United States (ordered by appointment; currently none)
  13. Retired Associate Justices of the Supreme Court (ordered by appointment):
    1. John Paul Stevens (December 19, 1975)
    2. Sandra Day O'Connor (September 25, 1981)
    3. David Souter (October 9, 1990)
  14. Members of the Cabinet (in the order of the creation of the respective departments; note that the Secretary of State already appears above; the creation date for the Secretary of War is used as the date for the Secretary of Defense's position in the precedence. Cabinet-level appointees are ordered by presidential Cabinet precedence.):
    1. Secretary of the Treasury (Jack Lew)
    2. Secretary of Defense (Ash Carter)
    3. Attorney General (Loretta Lynch)
    4. Secretary of the Interior (Sally Jewell)
    5. Secretary of Agriculture (Vacant)
    6. Secretary of Commerce (Penny Pritzker)
    7. Secretary of Labor (Tom Perez)
    8. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Sylvia Burwell)
    9. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Julián Castro)
    10. Secretary of Transportation (Anthony Foxx)
    11. Secretary of Energy (Ernest Moniz)
    12. Secretary of Education (John King)
    13. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Bob McDonald)
    14. Secretary of Homeland Security (Jeh Johnson)
    15. White House Chief of Staff (Denis McDonough)
    16. Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Gina McCarthy)
    17. Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Shaun Donovan)
    18. Trade Representative (Michael Froman)
    19. Ambassador to the United Nations (Samantha Power)
    20. Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (Jason Furman)
    21. Administrator of the Small Business Administration (Maria Contreras-Sweet)
  15. President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate (Orrin Hatch)
  16. Senate Majority Leader (Mitch McConnell)
  17. Senate Minority Leader (Chuck Schumer)
  18. Senate Majority Whip (John Cornyn)
  19. Senate Minority Whip (Dick Durbin)
  20. Current U.S. Senators (by seniority; see Seniority in the United States Senate; note that the President pro tempore and Senate leadership appear above.)
  21. Current state governors (of states other than that in which the event is held, by date of statehood or ratification of the Constitution):
    1. Governor of Delaware (John Carney)
    2. Governor of Pennsylvania (Tom Wolf)
    3. Governor of New Jersey (Chris Christie)
    4. Governor of Georgia (Nathan Deal)
    5. Governor of Connecticut (Dan Malloy)
    6. Governor of Massachusetts (Charlie Baker)
    7. Governor of Maryland (Larry Hogan)
    8. Governor of South Carolina (Nikki Haley)
    9. Governor of New Hampshire (Chris Sununu)
    10. Governor of Virginia (Terry McAuliffe)
    11. Governor of New York (Andrew Cuomo)
    12. Governor of North Carolina (Roy Cooper)
    13. Governor of Rhode Island (Gina Raimondo)
    14. Governor of Vermont (Phil Scott)
    15. Governor of Kentucky (Matt Bevin)
    16. Governor of Tennessee (Bill Haslam)
    17. Governor of Ohio (John Kasich)
    18. Governor of Louisiana (John Edwards)
    19. Governor of Indiana (Eric Holcomb)
    20. Governor of Mississippi (Phil Bryant)
    21. Governor of Illinois (Bruce Rauner)
    22. Governor of Alabama (Robert Bentley)
    23. Governor of Maine (Paul LePage)
    24. Governor of Missouri (Eric Greitens)
    25. Governor of Arkansas (Asa Hutchinson)
    26. Governor of Michigan (Rick Snyder)
    27. Governor of Florida (Rick Scott)
    28. Governor of Texas (Greg Abbott)
    29. Governor of Iowa (Terry Branstad)
    30. Governor of Wisconsin (Scott Walker)
    31. Governor of California (Jerry Brown)
    32. Governor of Minnesota (Mark Dayton)
    33. Governor of Oregon (Kate Brown)
    34. Governor of Kansas (Sam Brownback)
    35. Governor of West Virginia (Jim Justice)
    36. Governor of Nevada (Brian Sandoval)
    37. Governor of Nebraska (Pete Ricketts)
    38. Governor of Colorado (John Hickenlooper)
    39. Governor of North Dakota (Doug Burgum)
    40. Governor of South Dakota (Dennis Daugaard)
    41. Governor of Montana (Steve Bullock)
    42. Governor of Washington (Jay Inslee)
    43. Governor of Idaho (Butch Otter)
    44. Governor of Wyoming (Matt Mead)
    45. Governor of Utah (Gary Herbert)
    46. Governor of Oklahoma (Mary Fallin)
    47. Governor of New Mexico (Susana Martinez)
    48. Governor of Arizona (Doug Ducey)
    49. Governor of Alaska (Bill Walker)
    50. Governor of Hawaii (David Ige)
  22. House Majority Leader (Kevin McCarthy)
  23. House Minority Leader (Nancy Pelosi)
  24. House Majority Whip (Steve Scalise)
  25. House Minority Whip (Steny Hoyer)
  26. Current members of the U.S. House of Representatives (by seniority; see Seniority in the United States House of Representatives; note that the Speaker of the House and House leadership appear above.)
  27. Current Delegates to the House of Representatives (ordered by seniority; if the same, by the territory's date of entering U.S. jurisdiction or alphabetically by territory):
    1. Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia (January 3, 1991)
    2. Madeleine Bordallo of Guam (January 3, 2003)
    3. Gregorio Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands (January 3, 2009)
    4. Stacey Plaskett of the U. S. Virgin Islands (January 3, 2015)
    5. Amata Coleman Radewagen of American Samoa (January 3, 2015)
    6. Jenniffer González of Puerto Rico (January 3, 2017)
  28. Current territorial governors (of territories other than that in which the event is held, ordered by territory's date of entering U.S. jurisdiction or alphabetically by territory):
    1. Governor of Puerto Rico (Ricky Rosselló)
    2. Governor of Guam (Eddie Calvo)
    3. Governor of American Samoa (Lolo Moliga)
    4. Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands (Kenneth Mapp)
    5. Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands (Ralph Torres)
  29. Senior Advisors to the President (ordered by appointment):
    1. Valerie Jarrett
    2. Brian Deese
    3. Shailagh Murray
  30. National Security Advisor (Susan Rice)
  31. Counselor to the President (Vacant)
  32. White House Deputy Chiefs of Staff
    1. Anita Decker Breckenridge
    2. Kristie Canegallo
  33. Chief of Staff to the First Lady (Tina Tchen )
  34. Director of National Intelligence (Jim Clapper)
  35. Chief of Staff to the Vice President (Steve Ricchetti )
  36. Assistants to the President (ordered by appointment):
  37. Director of National Drug Control Policy (Michael Botticelli)
  38. Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (Christy Goldfuss) (Acting)
  39. Chief of Protocol (Peter Selfridge) (when with the President or for a White House event)
  40. Chargés d'Affaires to the United States (ordered by assumption of office)
  41. Former Secretaries of State (ordered by term):
    1. Henry Kissinger (September 22, 1973 – January 20, 1977)
    2. George Shultz (July 16, 1982 – January 20, 1989)
    3. James Baker (January 20, 1989 – August 23, 1992)
    4. Madeleine Albright (January 23, 1997 – January 20, 2001)
    5. Colin Powell (January 20, 2001 – January 26, 2005)
    6. Condoleezza Rice (January 26, 2005 – January 20, 2009)
    7. Hillary Clinton (January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013) (note that Hillary Clinton would appear above when in attendance with her husband, former President Bill Clinton)
  42. Former Members of the U.S. Cabinet (ordered by term)
  43. Former U.S. Senators (ordered by leadership position, then by term; if same, then by date of statehood or ratification of the Constitution)
  44. Former governors (other than those in which the event is held, by date of statehood or ratification of the Constitution)
  45. Former U.S. Representatives (ordered by leadership position, then by term; if same, then by date of statehood or ratification of the Constitution)
  46. Deputy Secretaries of Executive Departments (in the order of the creation of the respective departments or presidential appointment as for Cabinet above):
    1. Deputy Secretary of State
      1. Tony Blinken (Principal)
      2. Heather Higginbottom (Management and Resources)
    2. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (Sarah Raskin)
    3. Deputy Secretary of Defense (Robert Work)
    4. Deputy Attorney General (Sally Yates)
    5. Deputy Secretary of the Interior (Michael Connor)
    6. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture (Michael Scuse) (Acting)
    7. Deputy Secretary of Commerce (Bruce Andrews)
    8. Deputy Secretary of Labor (Chris Lu)
    9. Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services (Mary Wakefield) (Acting)
    10. Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Nani Coloretti)
    11. Deputy Secretary of Transportation (Victor Mendez)
    12. Deputy Secretary of Energy (Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall)
    13. Deputy Secretary of Education (James Cole) (Acting)
    14. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Sloan Gibson)
    15. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (Alejandro Mayorkas)
    16. Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (Stan Meiburg) (Acting)
    17. Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget
      1. Vacant (Principal)
      2. Andrew Mayock (Management and Chief Performance Officer)
    18. Deputy Trade Representative
      1. Robert Holleyman (Principal)
      2. Michael Punke (Geneva)
    19. Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations (Michele Sison)
    20. Deputy Administrator of the Small Business Administration (Vacant)
  47. Chair of the Federal Reserve (Janet Yellen)
  48. Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (Carolyn Colvin) (Acting)
  49. Heads of independent federal agencies at Level II of the Executive Schedule (ordered by creation date, if same, then by term)
    1. Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (John Brennan)
    2. Director of the National Science Foundation (France A. Córdova)
    3. Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Charles Bolden)
    4. Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (Gayle Smith)
    5. Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States (Vacant)
    6. Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Stephen G. Burns)
    7. Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management (Beth Cobert)
    8. Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (Dana J. Hyde)
    9. Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Richard Cordray)
  50. Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve (Stanley Fischer)
  51. Governors of the Federal Reserve (ordered by term)
    1. Daniel Tarullo
    2. Jay Powell
    3. Lael Brainard
    4. 2 seats vacant
  52. Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (Vacant)
  53. Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (Stephanie O'Sullivan)
  54. Principal Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (David Cohen)
  55. Principal Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (Mary Lou Leary) (Acting)
  56. Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (Nick Rasmussen)
  57. Secretaries of the military departments (by creation order of branch):
    1. Secretary of the Army (Eric Fanning)
    2. Secretary of the Navy (Ray Mabus)
    3. Secretary of the Air Force (Deborah James)
  58. Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Joe Dunford)
  59. Under Secretaries of State and departmental positions of equivalent rank (ordered by departmental line of succession)
    1. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.)
    2. Under Secretary of State for Management (Patrick F. Kennedy)
    3. Remaining Under Secretaries of State, ordered by date of appointment:
      1. Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights (Sarah Sewall) (February 20, 2014)
      2. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment (Catherine A. Novelli) (April 22, 2014)
      3. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs (Thomas A. Countryman) (Acting) (October 12, 2016)
      4. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (Bruce Wharton) (Acting) (December 8, 2016)
    4. Counselor of the United States Department of State (Kristie A. Kenney)
  60. Under Secretaries of Executive Departments and departmental positions of equivalent rank (ordered as Cabinet above and then by departmental line of succession)
  61. Heads of departmental federal agencies (ordered as Cabinet above and then as by departmental line of succession)
  62. Heads of independent federal agencies at Level III of the Executive Schedule (ordered by creation date, if same, then by term)
  63. Deputy Heads of independent federal agencies at Level III of the Executive Schedule (ordered by creation date, if same, then by term)
  64. Postmaster General (Megan Brennan)
  65. Former Chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (ordered by term; note that Colin Powell, who would otherwise appear in this list, already appears above as a former Secretary of State)
    1. Hugh Shelton (October 1, 1997 – October 1, 2001)
    2. Richard Myers (October 1, 2001 – October 1, 2005)
    3. Peter Pace (October 1, 2005 – October 1, 2007)
    4. Michael Mullen (October 1, 2007 – October 1, 2011)
    5. Martin Dempsey (October 1, 2011 – October 1, 2015)
  66. Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Paul Selva)
  67. Joint Chiefs of Staff (ordered by appointment):
    1. Chief of Staff of the Army (Mark Milley)
    2. Chief of Naval Operations (John Richardson)
    3. Commandant of the Marine Corps (Robert Neller)
    4. Chief of Staff of the Air Force (David Goldfein)
  68. Chief of the National Guard Bureau (Joseph Lengyel)
  69. Commandant of the Coast Guard (Paul Zukunft)
  70. Combatant Commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands of four-star grade (ordered by appointment):
    1. Central Command (Joseph Votel)
    2. Pacific Command (Harry Harris)
    3. Transportation Command (Darren McDew)
    4. Southern Command (Kurt Tidd)
    5. Special Operations Command (Raymond Thomas)
    6. European Command (Curtis Scaparrotti)
    7. Northern Command (Lori Robinson)
    8. Africa Command (Tom Waldhauser)
    9. Strategic Command (John Hyten)
  71. Current lieutenant governors (of the state in which the event is held)
  72. Mayor (of the city in which the event is held)
  73. Ambassadors from the United States to foreign governments (on official business in the United States or another country)
  74. Chief of Protocol (when at the Department of State or at events outside the White House, otherwise appears above)
  75. Ambassadors from the United States to international organizations (on official business in the United States or another country)
  76. Career Ambassadors
  77. Chief of Staff to the National Security Council (Suzy George)
  78. National Security Advisor to the Vice President (Colin Kahl)
  79. Chief of Staff to the Second Lady (Sheila Nix)
  80. Deputy Assistants to the President (ordered by appointment)
  81. Judges of the United States Courts of Appeals (by length of service)
  82. Judges of the United States District Courts (by length of service)
  83. Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (by length of service)
    1. Charles E. Erdmann (October 15, 2002)
    2. Margaret A. Ryan (December 20, 2006)
    3. Scott W. Stucky (December 20, 2006)
    4. Kevin A. Ohlson (November 1, 2013)
    5. John E. Sparks (April 19, 2016)
  84. Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (by length of service)
    1. Robert N. Davis (December 4, 2004)
    2. Al Lance (December 4, 2004)
    3. Mary J. Schoelen (December 20, 2004)
    4. Coral Wong Pietsch (June 28, 2012)
    5. Margaret Bartley (June 28, 2012)
    6. William S. Greenberg (December 28, 2012)
  85. Judges of the United States Tax Court (by length of service)
  86. Chargés d'Affaires from the United States (ordered by assumption of office)
  87. Under Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force (ordered by date of appointment)
    1. Under Secretary of the Air Force (Lisa S. Disbrow) (March 30, 2015)
    2. Under Secretary of the Army (Patrick Murphy) (January 4, 2016)
    3. Under Secretary of the Navy (Janine A. Davidson) (March 17, 2016)

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "U.S. State Department Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 2 Section 320 "Precedence"". Retrieved December 13, 2015. Precedence Lists establish the order or ranking of a country's government, military, and, in some cases, civic leaders for diplomatic, ceremonial, and social events, at home and abroad. The President, through the Office of the Chief of Staff, establishes the United States Order of Precedence. 
  2. ^ "What Does the Office of the Chief of Protocol Do?". U.S. State Department. Retrieved June 25, 2009. 21. Maintain and update the United States Order of Precedence List. 
  3. ^ "Protocol: Order of Precedence". Archived from the original on November 13, 2006. Retrieved July 15, 2009. Use this list when developing seating charts, speaking programs, and announcements. 
  4. ^ "Order of Precedence". Archived from the original on April 17, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2009. The following list is an abridged, unofficial version but conforms to established, customary rules of precedence. 
  5. ^ http://www.formsofaddress.info/precedence.html#053

External links[edit]