Accessibility and Website Information Skip Site Wide Navigation Skip to Content City Seal | HomeCity of San Diego | Home
Search City of San Diego

Order of Precedence

The following list is an edited, unofficial version but conforms to established, customary rules of precedence.

Federal Government

  • President of the United States
  • Vice-president of the United States
  • Governor (in own state)
  • Mayor (in own city)
  • Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • Chief Justice of the United States
  • Former Presidents of the United States
  • American Ambassadors (at Post)
  • Secretary of State
  • Secretary General of the United Nations
  • Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Foreign Powers accredited to the United States (in order of the presentation of their credentials)
  • Widows of former Presidents of the United States
  • Ministers of Foreign Powers accredited to the United States
  • Associate Justices of the Supreme Court
  • Retired Chief Justices
  • Retired Associate Justices of the Supreme Court
  • Members of the Cabinet
  • President Pro Tempore of the Senate
  • Senators (according to length of continuous service)
  • Governors (when outside own state)
  • Former Vice Presidents
  • Members of House of Representatives (according to length of continuous service)

State Governments

  • Governor
  • County Commissioner (in own county)
  • Mayor (in own city)
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Comptroller
  • Attorney General
  • United States Senators (in home state by seniority)
  • United States Representatives (in home district)
  • Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals
  • State Senators (based on seniority)
  • State Representatives (based on seniority)

Municipal Governments

  • Mayor
  • President of the City Council
  • Public Advocate
  • City Comptroller
  • State Senators (in order of seniority)
  • State Assemblymen (in order of seniority)
  • District Attorney
  • Members of the City Council (in order of seniority)
  • Deputy Mayor
  • Chief of Protocol
  • Chief of Staff
  • Counsel to the Mayor

Diplomatic Order of Precedence

  • American Ambassadors (when at Post)
  • President, United Nations General Assembly (when in session)
  • Secretary General of the United Nations
  • President, United Nations General Assembly (when not in session)
  • Foreign Ambassadors, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, accredited to the United States; Papal Nuncio (ranked according to his date) Ministers and Envoys Extraordinary of foreign powers accredited to the United States (in order of presentation of their credentials)
  • Charge d'Affaires of Foreign Powers
  • Charge d'Affaires ad interim of Foreign Powers
  • Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations
  • Ambassadors at Large
  • Persons with Ambassadorial rank (foreign non-accredited, e.g. Permanent Representatives to the United Nations)
  • Heads of International Organizations (International Monetary Fund, World Bank, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, NATO)
  • Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations
  • American Ambassadors (on State and Official Visits US cities)
  • Mayors of Major cities and the District of Columbia when in own city (major cities defined as those with a population of one million or more residents; Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and San Diego)
  • American Charge d'Affaires
  • Under Secretaries General of the United Nations
  • American Ambassadors (designate, in the United States under normal orders, or on leave)
  • Representatives of United States Missions to the European Union (USEU) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (USOECD)
  • Mayors of Major Cities (when not in own city)
  • Former American Ambassadors-Chiefs of Diplomatic Missions (in order of presentation of credentials at first post)
  • Non-accredited Ministers of foreign governments assigned to foreign diplomatic missions in Washington D.C. (includes Deputy Chiefs of Mission)
  • Counselors of Embassies
  • Consuls General of foreign powers (Legations)
  • Senior Secretaries of Embassies when there is no Counselor

Source: City of New York, Office of Protocol & US Department of State