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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action


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.

The essence of international protocol is the practice of employing proper etiquette, official formalities and dignified ceremonies in the welcoming and hosting of foreign leaders. The Ceremonials division plays a key role in maintaining this timeless tradition. A Ceremonials Officer will plan each event meticulously, considering every detail from the invitation and flower arrangements to menu and official entertainment all while adhering to cultural considerations and ensuring that the honored guests feel welcome and comfortable. These events include but are not limited to Official and State Luncheons, meals during major international summits, receptions in the State Department’s official Diplomatic Reception Rooms, and swearing in ceremonies.

The division also organizes the participation of the Diplomatic Corps in special events and official public events such as Joint Sessions of Congress, inaugurations, funerals, and other ceremonies.

In addition, the Ceremonials division maintains the Order of Precedence of the United States of America, answers questions on flag etiquette, forms of address, seating, invitations, dietary, and cultural restrictions.


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