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United States order of precedence: Wikis


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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, 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.

Details as of September 2009

(Except as otherwise noted, positions in the list are from three sources.[3][4][5])

  1. President (Barack Obama)
  2. Vice President (Joe Biden)
  3. Governor (while in his or her state)
  4. Mayor (while in his or her city)[5]
  5. Speaker of the House of Representatives (Nancy Pelosi)
  6. Chief Justice (John G. Roberts)
  7. Former Presidents (in order of 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)
  8. Ambassadors from the United States (while at their posts)
  9. Secretary of State (Hillary Rodham Clinton) (claims President Bill Clinton's order of precedence at #7.3 if present with her husband.[6])
  10. Ambassadors to the United States (in order of tenure)
  11. Widows of former Presidents (in order of spouse's term)
    1. Betty Ford (August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977)
    2. Nancy Reagan (January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989)
  12. Ministers of foreign powers
  13. Associate Justices of the Supreme Court (in order of appointment)
    1. John Paul Stevens (December 19, 1975)
    2. Antonin Scalia (September 26, 1986)
    3. Anthony Kennedy (February 18, 1988)
    4. Clarence Thomas (October 18, 1991)
    5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (August 10, 1993)
    6. Stephen Breyer (August 3, 1994)
    7. Samuel Alito (January 31, 2006)
    8. Sonia Sotomayor (August 8, 2009)
  14. Retired Chief Justices (currently none)
  15. Retired Associate Justices of the Supreme Court
    1. Sandra Day O'Connor
    2. David Souter
  16. Members of the Cabinet (in the order of the creation of their departments; note that the Secretary of State already appears above, at #9; also, the creation date for the Secretary of War is used as the date for the Secretary of Defense's spot in the precedence)
    1. Secretary of the Treasury (Timothy Geithner)
    2. Secretary of Defense (Robert Gates)
    3. Attorney General (Eric Holder)
    4. Secretary of the Interior (Ken Salazar)
    5. Secretary of Agriculture (Tom Vilsack)
    6. Secretary of Commerce (Gary Locke)
    7. Secretary of Labor (Hilda Solis)
    8. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Kathleen Sebelius)
    9. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Shaun Donovan)
    10. Secretary of Transportation (Ray LaHood)
    11. Secretary of Energy (Steven Chu)
    12. Secretary of Education (Arne Duncan)
    13. Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Eric Shinseki)
    14. Secretary of Homeland Security (Janet Napolitano)
  17. White House Chief of Staff (Rahm Emanuel)
  18. Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Peter Orszag)
  19. Director of National Drug Control Policy (Gil Kerlikowske)
  20. Trade Representative (Ron Kirk)
  21. Director of National Intelligence (Dennis Blair)
  22. Ambassador to the United Nations (Susan Rice)
  23. President pro tempore of the Senate (Robert Byrd)
  24. Current Senators (by seniority; see Seniority in the United States Senate) Note that Sen. Robert Byrd already appears at #23 above as President pro tempore of the Senate.
  25. State governors when outside home state (by date of statehood)
    1. Governor of Delaware (Jack Markell)
    2. Governor of Pennsylvania (Ed Rendell)
    3. Governor of New Jersey (Jon Corzine)
    4. Governor of Georgia (Sonny Perdue)
    5. Governor of Connecticut (Jodi Rell)
    6. Governor of Massachusetts (Deval Patrick)
    7. Governor of Maryland (Martin O'Malley)
    8. Governor of South Carolina (Mark Sanford)
    9. Governor of New Hampshire (John Lynch)
    10. Governor of Virginia (Bob McDonnell)
    11. Governor of New York (David Paterson)
    12. Governor of North Carolina (Beverly Perdue)
    13. Governor of Rhode Island (Donald Carcieri)
    14. Governor of Vermont (Jim Douglas)
    15. Governor of Kentucky (Steve Beshear)
    16. Governor of Tennessee (Phil Bredesen)
    17. Governor of Ohio (Ted Strickland)
    18. Governor of Louisiana (Bobby Jindal)
    19. Governor of Indiana (Mitch Daniels)
    20. Governor of Mississippi (Haley Barbour)
    21. Governor of Illinois (Pat Quinn)
    22. Governor of Alabama (Bob Riley)
    23. Governor of Maine (John Baldacci)
    24. Governor of Missouri (Jay Nixon)
    25. Governor of Arkansas (Mike Beebe)
    26. Governor of Michigan (Jennifer Granholm)
    27. Governor of Florida (Charlie Crist)
    28. Governor of Texas (Rick Perry)
    29. Governor of Iowa (Chet Culver)
    30. Governor of Wisconsin (Jim Doyle)
    31. Governor of California (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
    32. Governor of Minnesota (Tim Pawlenty)
    33. Governor of Oregon (Ted Kulongoski)
    34. Governor of Kansas (Mark Parkinson)
    35. Governor of West Virginia (Joe Manchin)
    36. Governor of Nevada (Jim Gibbons)
    37. Governor of Nebraska (Dave Heineman)
    38. Governor of Colorado (Bill Ritter)
    39. Governor of North Dakota (John Hoeven)
    40. Governor of South Dakota (Mike Rounds)
    41. Governor of Montana (Brian Schweitzer)
    42. Governor of Washington (Christine Gregoire)
    43. Governor of Idaho (Butch Otter)
    44. Governor of Wyoming (Dave Freudenthal)
    45. Governor of Utah (Gary Herbert)
    46. Governor of Oklahoma (Brad Henry)
    47. Governor of New Mexico (Bill Richardson)
    48. Governor of Arizona (Jan Brewer)
    49. Governor of Alaska (Sean Parnell)
    50. Governor of Hawaii (Linda Lingle)
  26. Acting heads of executive departments
  27. Former Vice Presidents (in order of term) (note that George H. W. Bush, who would otherwise appear at #27.2 in this list, already appears at #7.2 above as 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)
  28. Current Representatives (by seniority; see List of current members of the United States House of Representatives by seniority) Note that Rep. Nancy Pelosi already appears at #5 above as Speaker of the House
  29. Current Delegates (by seniority)
    1. Eni Faleomavaega (January 3, 1989)
    2. Eleanor Holmes Norton (January 3, 1991)
    3. Donna Christian-Christensen (January 3, 1997)
    4. Madeleine Bordallo (January 3, 2003)
    5. Pedro Pierluisi (January 3, 2009)
    6. Gregorio Sablan (January 3, 2009)
  30. Governor of Puerto Rico (Luis Fortuño)
  31. National Security Advisor (James Jones)
  32. Counselor to the President and Assistants to the President
  33. Chargé d'affaires of foreign countries
  34. Former Secretaries of State (in order of term)
    1. Henry Kissinger (September 22, 1973 – January 20, 1977)
    2. Alexander Haig (January 22, 1981 – July 5, 1982)
    3. George Shultz (July 16, 1982 – January 20, 1989)
    4. James Baker (January 20, 1989 – August 23, 1992)
    5. Lawrence Eagleburger (December 8, 1992 – January 20, 1993)
    6. Warren Christopher (January 20, 1993 – January 17, 1997)
    7. Madeleine Albright (January 23, 1997 – January 20, 2001)
    8. Colin Powell (January 20, 2001 – January 26, 2005)
    9. Condoleezza Rice (January 26, 2005 – January 20, 2009)
  35. Deputy Secretaries of Executive Departments
    1. Deputy Secretary of State (Jacob Lew, James Steinberg)
    2. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (Neal S. Wolin)
    3. Deputy Secretary of Defense (William Lynn)
    4. Deputy Attorney General (David Ogden)
    5. Deputy Secretary of the Interior (David J. Hayes
    6. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture (Kathleen A. Merrigan)
    7. Deputy Secretary of Commerce (Dennis Hightower)
    8. Deputy Secretary of Labor (Seth David Harris)
    9. Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services (William V. Corr)
    10. Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Ronald C. Sims)
    11. Deputy Secretary of Transportation (John D. Porcari)
    12. Deputy Secretary of Energy (Daniel B. Poneman)
    13. Deputy Secretary of Education (Anthony W. Miller)
    14. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs (W. Scott Gould)
    15. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (Jane Holl Lute)
  36. Solicitor General (Elena Kagan)
  37. Administrator of the Agency for International Development
  38. Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  39. Under Secretaries of State and Counsels
  40. Under Secretaries of Executive Departments
  41. United States Ambassadors-at-Large
  42. Secretaries of the service departments
    1. Secretary of the Army (John M. McHugh)
    2. Secretary of the Navy (Ray Mabus)
    3. Secretary of the Air Force (Michael Donley)
  43. Postmaster General (John Potter)
  44. Chairman of the Federal Reserve (Ben Bernanke)
  45. Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (Nancy Sutley)
  46. Chairman of the Export-Import Bank (Fred Hochberg)
  47. Chairman of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (Andrew Saul)
  48. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Michael Mullen)
  49. Under Secretaries of Defense
  50. Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (James Cartwright)
  51. Chiefs of Staff of the Four Services (in order of appointment)
    1. Commandant of the Marine Corps (James Conway)
    2. Chief of Staff of the Army (George Casey)
    3. Chief of Naval Operations (Gary Roughead)
    4. Chief of Staff of the Air Force (Norton Schwartz)
  52. Commandant of the Coast Guard (Thad Allen)
  53. Commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands of four-star grade
    1. Africa Command (William Ward)
    2. Central Command (David Petraeus)
    3. European Command (Bantz Craddock)
    4. Joint Forces Command (James Mattis)
    5. Northern Command (Victor Renuart)
    6. Pacific Command (Robert Willard)
    7. Southern Command (James Stavridis)
    8. Special Operations Command (Eric Olson)
    9. Strategic Command (Kevin Chilton)
    10. Transportation Command (Duncan McNabb)
  54. Generals of the Army, Generals of the Air Force, and Fleet Admirals (currently none)


  1. ^ a b "U.S State Department Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 2 Section 320 "PRECEDENCE"". Retrieved 2009-07-10. "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 2009-06-25. "21. Maintain and update the United States Order of Precedence List."  
  3. ^ "U.S. order of precedence". Retrieved 2009-07-15. "Use this official list to determine protocol order when developing seating charts, speaking programs, announcements and any list or documentation related to special events that involve US government officials."  
  4. ^ "Protocol: Order of Precedence". Retrieved 2009-07-15. "Use this list when developing seating charts, speaking programs, and announcements."  
  5. ^ a b "Order of Precedence". Retrieved 2009-07-15. "The following list is an abridged, unofficial version but conforms to established, customary rules of precedence."  
  6. ^

External links



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