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USGS Correspondence Handbook

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Chapter 4.

Models Of Address

1.   Address and Salutation. Selection of address and salutation formats must take into consideration the position of the addressee. The term "Honorable" is used when addressing all Presidential appointees, Federal and State elected officials, and city mayors. Salutations for persons addressed as "Honorable" should reflect that person's position, e.g., "Dear Senator (surname)," or "Dear Mr. Secretary."

When a woman holds a position that carries a formal title such as "President," "Chairman," or "Ambassador," the salutation would be "Dear Madam President," "Dear Madam Ambassador," or "Dear Madam Chairman."

Unless the person holds a title, the salutation is usually "Dear Mr./Miss/Mrs./Ms. (last name)."

In the event that the addressee's gender is not implied by the first name, i.e., "Leslie Smith," the address should not contain any reference to "Mr." or "Ms." and the salutation should read "Dear Leslie Smith."

2.  Specific Examples of Address, Salutation, and Complimentary Closing. The following is a list of sample addresses, salutations, and complimentary closings for certain addressees.

NOTE: "Sincerely," is used for departmental correspondence, and "Sincerely," is used for the Director's correspondence.

The President
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr./Madam President:

Respectfully,

Spouse of the President
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Mrs./Mr. (Full Name)
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mrs./Mr. (Surname):

Respectfully,

Assistant to the President
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Assistant to the President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr./Ms. (Surname):


Sincerely,

The Vice President
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
The Vice President (Formal)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Mr./Madam Vice President:

Sincerely,     (Formal)
Honorable (Full Name) (Informal)
The Vice President of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Mr./Madam Vice President:

Sincerely,     (Informal)

Former President
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
(Local Address)
Dear President (Surname):
Sincerely,

The Chief Justice
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
The Chief Justice
The Supreme Court
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
Dear Chief Justice:

Sincerely,

Associate Justice
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Justice (Surname)
The Supreme Court
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
Dear Justice (Surname):

Sincerely,

President of the Senate
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
President of the Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):

Sincerely,

President of the Senate Pro Tempore
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
President Pro Tempore
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Mr./Madam President:


Sincerely,

Speaker of the House of Representatives
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr./Madam Speaker:

Sincerely,

United States Senator
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
or
Honorable (Full Name)
United States Senator
(Home State Address)
Dear Senator (Surname):





Sincerely,

United States Representative
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
or
Honorable (Full Name)
Member, United States House of Representatives
(Home State Address)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):





Sincerely,

Committee Chairman*
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Chairman, Committee on (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
or
Honorable (Full Name)
Chairman, Committee on (Name)
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr./Madam Chairman:







Sincerely,
* When addressing a Chairman, depending on the subject, i.e., if it falls under
chairman responsibilities, address the Senator as Chairman.

Subcommittee Chairman*
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Chairman, Subcommittee on (Name)
(Name of Parent Committee)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
or
Honorable (Full Name)
Chairman, Subcommittee on (Name)
(Name of Parent Committee)
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr./Madam Chairman:









Sincerely,
* When addressing a Chairman, depending on the subject, i.e., if it falls under
chairman responsibilities, address the Senator as Chairman.

American Ambassador
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close  
Honorable (Full Name)
American Ambassador
(City), (Country)
Sir/Madam:
Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:
Very truly yours,
Sincerely,
(Formal)
(Informal)
(Formal)
(Informal)


American Consul General or American Consul
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Mr./Mrs. (Full Name)
American Consul General
  (or American Consul)
(City), (Country)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):


Sincerely,


Foreign Ambassador in the United States
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close  
His Excellency (Full Name)
Ambassador of (Country)
  (or American Consul)
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
Excellency:
Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:
Very truly yours,
Sincerely,
(Formal)
(Informal)
(Formal)
(Informal)


United States Representative to the United Nations
Or Organization of American States
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close  
Honorable (Full Name)
United States Representative to the United Nations
  (or Organization of American States)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Sir/Madam:
Dear Mr./Madam Ambassador:
Very truly yours,
Sincerely,
(Formal)
(Informal)
(Formal)
(Informal)


Cabinet Members
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Secretary of (Name of Department)
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
or
Honorable (Full Name)
Attorney General
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
Dear Mr./Madam Secretary:

Sincerely,

Dear Mr./Madam Attorney General:

Sincerely,


Deputy Secretaries/Assistant Secretaries
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Deputy Secretary of (Name of Department)
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
or
Honorable (Full Name)
Assistant Secretary of (Name of Department)
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):





Sincerely,


Heads of Independent Offices and Agencies
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Comptroller General of the United States
General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
or
Honorable (Full Name)
Chairman, (Name of Commission)
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
or
Honorable (Full Name)
Director, Office of Management and Budget
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):


Sincerely,

Dear Mr./Madam Chairman:

Sincerely,

Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):

Sincerely,


Librarian of Congress
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Librarian of Congress
Library of Congress
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):


Sincerely,



Public Printer
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Public Printer
U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. (Zip Code)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):


Sincerely,


Governor of State
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Governor Of (State)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Governor (Surname):

Sincerely,


Lieutenant Governor
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Lieutenant Governor Of (State)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):

Sincerely,


State Senator
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
(State) Senate
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):

Sincerely,


State Representative, Assemblyman or Delegate*
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
(Name of State) House of Representatives
(or Assembly or House of Delegates)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):

Sincerely,
* In most States, the lower branch of the legislature is the House of Representatives. In some States, such as California, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, and Wisconsin, the lower house is known as the Assembly. In others, such as Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, it is known as the House of Delegates. Nebraska has a one-house legislature. Its members are classed as Senators.


Mayor
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
Mayor of (City)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Mayor (Surname):

Sincerely,


President of a Board of Commissioners Senator
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Honorable (Full Name)
President, Board of Commissioners of (City)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. (Surname):

Sincerely,


Service Personnel
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
(Full Rank, Full Name, and Abbreviation of Service)
(Retired is added if applicable)
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear (Rank) (Surname):


Sincerely,


President of a College or University (Doctor)
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Dr. (Full Name)
President, (Name of Institution)
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Dr. (Surname):


Sincerely,


Dean of School
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Dean (Full Name)
School of (Name)
(Name of Institution)
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Dean (Surname):



Sincerely,


Professor
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Professor (Full Name)
Department of (Name)
(Name of Institution)
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Professor (Surname):



Sincerely,


Physician
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
(Full Name), M.D.
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Dr. (Surname):

Sincerely,


Lawyer
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Mr./Ms. (Full Name)
Attorney at Law
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Mr./Ms. (Surname):


Sincerely,


One Woman and One Man*
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Ms. (Full Name) and Mr. (Full Name)
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Ms. (Surname) and Mr. (Surname):

Sincerely,
* A letter to two or more persons may be addressed as illustrated, or to only one of them when the other is mentioned by name in the opening paragraph.


Two or More Men*
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Mr. (Full Name) and Mr. (Full Name)
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Mr. (Full Name) and Mr. (Full Name) or Gentlemen:

Sincerely,
* A letter to two or more persons may be addressed as illustrated, or to only one of them when the other is mentioned by name in the opening paragraph.


Two or More Women*
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Ms. (Full Name) and Ms. (Full Name)
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Ms. (Full Name) and Ms. (Full Name):

Sincerely,
* A letter to two or more persons may be addressed as illustrated, or to only one of them when the other is mentioned by name in the opening paragraph.


Unisex Names
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Leslie Smith
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Leslie Smith:

Sincerely,
* A letter to two or more persons may be addressed as illustrated, or to only one of them when the other is mentioned by name in the opening paragraph.


Widow
Address on Letter & Envelope Salutation & Complimentary Close
Ms. (Wife´s First Name and Last Name)
(Address)
(City), (State) (Zip Code)
Dear Ms. (Surname):

Sincerely,



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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
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Last modification: 11-Jan-2013@10:54