Chief of Protocol

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Chief of Protocol
U.S. Department of State official seal.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Sean P. Lawler.jpg
Sean Lawler

since December 1, 2017
Reports to United States Secretary of State
Nominator President of the United States
Inaugural holder James Clement Dunn
Formation 1928

The Chief of Protocol is an officer of the United States Department of State responsible for advising the President of the United States, the Vice President, and the Secretary of State on matters of national and international diplomatic protocol. The Chief of Protocol holds the rank of Ambassador and Assistant Secretary of State.[1][2]


The chief arranges itineraries for foreign dignitaries visiting the U.S. and accompanies the president on all official international travel. Additionally, the office is responsible for accrediting foreign diplomats and publishing the list of foreign consular offices in the U.S., organizing ceremonies for treaty signings, conducting ambassadorial swearing-in and state arrival ceremonies, and maintaining Blair House, the official guest house for state visitors.

On September 9, President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Sean Lawler to be Chief of Protocol. Lawler was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 16, 2017.

Former child star Shirley Temple Black served as Chief of Protocol under President Gerald Ford.[3]

The Chief of Protocol duties include being present at the annual State of the Union speech (SOTU) given by the President each January before Congress. These SOTU duties include escorting the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps into the House Chamber for the SOTU speech.

The Chief of Protocol position should not be confused with the distinctly different White House Social Secretary position.


The office identifies seven divisions on its website, led by assistant chiefs, who oversee the following principal duties:[4]

  • Management
  • State visits
  • Ceremonials
  • Diplomatic affairs
  • Blair House
  • Diplomatic partnerships
  • Gifts

List of Chiefs of Protocol of the United States

Name Assumed office Left office President served under
James Clement Dunn February 4, 1928 November 17, 1930 Herbert Hoover
F. Lammot Belin November 17, 1930 September 15, 1931 Herbert Hoover
Warren Delano Robbins September 15, 1931 June 11, 1933 Herbert Hoover
James Clement Dunn June 11, 1933 April 11, 1935 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Richard Southgate April 11, 1935 July 29, 1937 Franklin D. Roosevelt
George T. Summerlin July 29, 1938 January 15, 1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Stanley Woodward January 15, 1944 May 22, 1950 Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman
John F. Simmons August 18, 1950 January 31, 1957 Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower
Wiley T. Buchanan, Jr. February 4, 1957 January 23, 1961 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Angier Biddle Duke January 24, 1961 January 20, 1965 John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson
Lloyd Nelson Hand January 21, 1965 March 21, 1966 Lyndon B. Johnson
James W. Symington March 22, 1966 March 31, 1968 Lyndon B. Johnson
Angier Biddle Duke April 1, 1968 September 26, 1968 Lyndon B. Johnson
Tyler Abell September 30, 1968 January 20, 1969 Lyndon B. Johnson
Emil Mosbacher, Jr. January 21, 1969 June 30, 1972 Richard Nixon
Marion H. Smoak March 29, 1974 Mar 30, 1974 Richard Nixon
Henry E. Catto, Jr. April 3, 1974 July 1, 1976 Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford
Shirley Temple Black July 1, 1976 January 21, 1977 Gerald Ford
Evan Dobelle March 2, 1977 May 22, 1978 Jimmy Carter
Edith H. J. Dobelle November 3, 1978 September 26, 1979 Jimmy Carter
Abelardo L. Valdez October 19, 1979 January 21, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Morgan Mason (acting) January 21, 1981 March 20, 1981 Ronald Reagan
Leonore Annenberg March 20, 1981 January 6, 1982 Ronald Reagan
Selwa Roosevelt April 16, 1982 January 20, 1989 Ronald Reagan
Joseph Verner Reed, Jr. May 21, 1989 October 21, 1991 George H. W. Bush
John Giffen Weinmann October 31, 1991 January 20, 1993 George H. W. Bush
Molly M. Raiser September 14, 1993 July 24, 1997 Bill Clinton
Mary Mel French November 13, 1997 January 20, 2001 Bill Clinton
Donald Ensenat June 6, 2001 February 18, 2007 George W. Bush
Nancy Brinker September 14, 2007 January 20, 2009 George W. Bush
Capricia Marshall August 3, 2009 August 1, 2013 Barack Obama
Natalie Jones (acting) August 1, 2013 May 13, 2014 Barack Obama
Peter A. Selfridge May 13, 2014 January 20, 2017 Barack Obama
Sean Lawler December 1, 2017 Present Donald Trump

See also


  1. ^ "Assistant Secretaries and Equivalent Rank". January 20, 2009. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  2. ^ "Department Organization Chart". March 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  3. ^ Levy, Claudia (2014-02-11). "Shirley Temple Black, actress and diplomat, dies at 85". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  4. ^ "U.S. Department of State: Office of the Chief of Protocol". Retrieved 2017-08-25.

External links

  • Office of the Chief of Protocol
  • List of Chiefs of Protocol
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Chief of Protocol"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA