The Ambassador, or Chief of Mission, is the highest ranking American official in France. The full title is “Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.” Extraordinary means that the Ambassador is the personal representative of the President of the United States in France. Plenipotentiary indicates full power to negotiate. The Ambassador is responsible for the various sections of the Embassy as well as for the activities of all U.S. executive departments and agencies with representatives in France, including the Consulates General in Marseille and Strasbourg, and the APPs (American Presence Posts) in Bordeaux, Lyon, Rennes, Toulouse.
Second to the Ambassador is the Deputy Chief of Mission, a position carrying the rank of Minister. The day-to-day management of the Embassy is the Minister’s responsibility, as is a share of the high-level representational entertaining, negotiation, appraisal and reporting on Franco-American relations and issues. In the Ambassador’s absence, the Minister becomes Chargé d’Affaires, thereby assuming all the Ambassador’s functions and responsibilities.