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Diplomacy in Action

Office of the Chief of Protocol

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The Office of the Chief of Protocol, led by Ambassador Peter A. Selfridge, seeks to advance the foreign policy goals of the United States by creating an environment for successful diplomacy. Our team extends the first hand that welcomes presidents, prime ministers, ruling monarchs, and other leaders to our country. By serving on the front lines of diplomatic engagement, we promote cross-cultural exchange and build new bridges of understanding between people and governments around the world.

We invite you learn more about the Office of the Chief of Protocol by exploring the work of the divisions and units displayed below.


Blair House
The Office of the Chief of Protocol maintains and manages one of our nation's greatest historical treasures Blair House, the official guesthouse of the President.
Date: 03/01/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Picture of a room in the Blair House. - State Dept Image

Working with style, elegance and an acute attention to detail, the Ceremonials Division plans, executes and supports a wide range of ceremonial and official functions hosted by the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, and other high-ranking United States Government officials.

Date: 03/22/2013 Description: Picture of ceremony dinner. - State Dept Image

Diplomatic Affairs
The Diplomatic Affairs division oversees the accreditation of foreign Ambassadors and assists the Chief of Protocol in her capacity as the President's personal representative and liaison to foreign Ambassadors in Washington.

Date: 05/21/2014 Description: President Barack Obama participates in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony with Omar Arouna, Ambassador of the Republic of Benin in the Oval Office, May 21, 2014. © White House Image/Lawrence Jackson

Diplomatic Partnerships
Through the exchange of ideas, cultures, and traditions, Diplomatic Partnerships builds upon the Administration's efforts to foster international goodwill and provide the Diplomatic Community with greater understanding of the people, customs, and institutions of the United States.

Date: 07/22/2014 Location: Miami, FL Description: Ambassadors visit Port Miami during Experience America: Miami.  - State Dept Image

The Office of the Chief of Protocol works closely with the staffs of the President, the First Lady, the Vice President and the Secretary of State, to select gifts for foreign dignitaries.

Date: 06/08/2014 Description: President Barack Obama presents President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China with a gift of an inscribed redwood park bench at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, Calif. © White House Image/Peter Souza

The Management Division is under the direction and supervision of the Executive Director of the Office of the Chief of Protocol, who also serves as the Assistant Chief of Protocol for Management. The Management Division administers the human resources, financial, information management systems, security, and general services sections, and provides guidance and support to all divisions of the Office of the Chief of Protocol.

Date: 07/22/2014 Description: Office of the Chief of Protocol seal. - State Dept Image

From arrival to departure, the Visits Division plans, arranges and executes detailed programs for visiting Chiefs of State and Heads of Government.

Date: 03/14/2012 Description: President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom stand during the playing of the national anthem during the Official Arrival Ceremony on the South Lawn. © White House Image/Peter Souza




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