View Vacancy - Social Secretary to Her Majesty's Ambassador at the United States - Washington DC

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Operations and Corporate Services)
Protocol, Visits and Events

Main purpose of job:

The British Embassy, Washington DC is seeking a new Social Secretary to oversee the planning, implementing and execution of events at the British Ambassador’s Residence. The British Residence is one of DC’s most prestigious Diplomatic properties and serves some 15,000 guests and visitors each year. The successful applicant will work closely with the Ambassador, the Ambassador’s Chief of Staff, the Residence Team, the Deputy Head of Mission’s team, and will manage the Assistant to the Social Secretary.

Roles and responsibilities:

  • Planning all events at the Ambassador’s Residence including: drawing up guest lists, sending invitations, taking responses, following up on non-responders, creating seating plans.
  • Managing logistics of events at the Residence by coordinating with the event holder, Security, Chef, Head Gardener, the Residence Manager and supporting team members.
  • Manage the Residence’s calendar and schedule of events.
  • Monitor and respond to email queries on Residence events.
  • Work directly with the Ambassador’s Private Office to ensure efficient planning of the Residence’s forward programme of events and provide assistance/guidance as needed.
  • Attend events to oversee success and trouble shoot problems as they arise. This also includes proactively initiating conversations with guests to make them feel comfortable and engaged at events.
  • Maintain records of guest lists and maintain the Residence database.
  • Advise on British etiquette and protocol.
  • Meet and greet guests (including houseguests) and assist with requests as needed.
  • Direct management of the Assistant to the Social Secretary.

We expect the jobholder to successfully orchestrate the pre-pandemic norm of between 600–700 events per annum, and entertain between 12,000–14,000 guests each year, while maintaining the exceptionally high standard expected.  To note:  During Embassy functions the selected candidate will be expected to dress in-line with event guidance, i.e. formal, business casual etc.

Resources managed:

Will directly manage the Assistant to the Social Secretary.

Essential on arrival:

  • Minimum of 6 years of experience in a similar environment with exposure to international dignitaries, officials and business leaders.
  • The ability to work independently and to react to situations which may arise, without constant supervision.
  • Excellent computer skills (Word, Excel and Internet).
  • Must have high level of interpersonal skills to handle sensitive and confidential situations. This position requires demonstrated poise, tact, diplomacy and discretion.
  • Strong communication ability, both written and oral is required.  Must be able to interact and communicate with individuals at all levels, and the ability to develop a personal network.
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment with demonstrated ability to handle the pressure of juggling multiple competing tasks and demands.
  • Must be available to work evenings, weekends and holidays.

Language requirements:

Language: English

Level of language required: Fluent


  • Maintain extremely high standards.
  • Show discretion at all times.
  • Have the ability to work independently, without continuous supervision.
  • Knowledge of the Washington, DC area.
  • Be able to react to situations within may arise unexpectedly.
  • Be willing to learn and be flexible.
  • Be professional and efficient.
  • Be observant and aware of situations.
Seeing the Big Picture, Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace, Communicating and Influencing
28 August 2022
Higher Executive Officer (HEO)
Full-time, Permanent
Americas, Caribbean & Overseas Territories
United States
British Embassy
26 September 2022

Under US State Department requirements, the UK Government in the US may only employ, as non-diplomatic staff, persons who are US citizens, US Permanent Residents or A visa holders with EAD cards*. If you hold a visa other than an A visa you are not currently eligible to work at our office. Please refer to our website for information on exceptions to this policy at All selected candidates are subject to background checks and will require a security clearance prior to starting work.

• A visas are acceptable at the Embassy and Consulates. The UK Mission to the UN (UKMIS) accepts G visas, and British Defence Staff (BDS) outposts accept A or NATO visas

Learning and development opportunities:

The British Embassy and its US Network is committed to all employees’ ongoing learning and development needs. We offer a comprehensive platform for personalised learning for everything from soft skill development (communicating with impact, handling difficult conversations, time management) to more technical or professional skills necessary to complete your job (software training, formal qualifications etc.).

Working patterns:

This role is full-time (<40 hours). Hours can sometimes be irregular as a result of, for example, hosting evening functions.  In compensation, start and end times on other dates can be adjusted and there is some scope for working from home. This role will offer on-site accommodation within the historic British Ambassador’s Residence.

The UK Government operating in the US offers a substantial benefits package including generous leave, a choice of medical insurance, 401(k) matching up to 7%, extensive learning opportunities and a great work/life balance. Employees who are not liable to pay local income tax on their Mission salary, eg some non-local national staff and some spouses or partners of UK diplomatic staff, will have their salaries abated by an equivalent amount. Internal candidates must inform their supervisor before they apply to a different position.

Only successful candidates will be contacted. Please no phone calls. Due to the high volume of resumes we receive, we cannot guarantee consideration of your application if the submission instructions are not properly followed.

The British Embassy is committed to a policy of equal opportunities and to creating a diverse working environment, free from discrimination, where everyone is included and treated fairly, based on merit alone. We are an equal opportunity employer, making all employment decisions without regard to race, gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, citizenship, disability, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation or any other criterion protected by law.

Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Country Based Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.