Ambassador Mary Mel French pens book on official White House etiquette

July 26th, 2010 - 6:48 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, July 26 (ANI): Ambassador Mary Mel French has written a book on the etiquettes followed by the White House titled ‘United States Protocol: The Guide to Official Diplomatic Etiquette’.

She was the chief of protocol during the Clinton administration.

In the foreword to French’s book, former President Bill Clinton spells out the crucial roles that courtesy and respect still play in diplomatic relations.

“The President and his staff need to know protocol to be recognized with esteem and integrity,” the New York Daily News quoted Clinton as writing.

French said that it is okay not to religiously follow the old-fashioned and stuffy protocol.

“You can mess around with them a little. Every President wants to do things a little differently, but they get into trouble when they branch out too far and say: “I don’t care about protocol,” said French.

She also said that it is the job of the gift officer to thoroughly research the background and interests of the recipient and come up with the appropriate gift.

“One of the most well-received presents during my tenure was given to Nelson Mandela. The gift officer found he’d been a boxer in his youth and created a leather-bound book of letters from all of the living U.S. boxing champions, addressed to President Mandela,” she said.

She added: “Official gifts should never be given lightly. Everyone is accustomed to giving a personal gift, but this is different.” (ANI)

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