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Title: Attaché  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: August Lange, Agricultural attaché, Air attaché, Project 404, William A. Hodgman
Collection: Diplomats by Role, Government Occupations, Public Relations People by Role, Titles
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


In diplomacy, an attaché is a person who is assigned ("attached") to the diplomatic or administrative staff of a higher placed person or another service or agency. Attaché is a French word and is modified to correspond to the gender (woman: attachée).

An attaché is normally an official, under the authority of an ambassador or other head of a diplomatic mission, who serves either as a diplomat or as a member of the support staff. They monitor various issues related to areas of intervention. To this end, they may undertake the planning for decisions which will be taken and make all necessary arrangements, manage the agenda, conduct research for the study of particular matters, and act as representative when necessary.

Sometimes an attaché has special responsibilities or expertise. Examples include a cultural attaché, customs attaché, labor attaché, legal attaché, military/defense attaché (or more specifically, naval attaché, air attaché), press attaché, agricultural attaché, commercial attaché, and science attaché.


  • Military attaché 1
  • Science attaché 2
  • Health attaché 3
  • Holy See 4
  • Belgium 5
  • Colombia 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes and references 8
  • Bibliography 9

Military attaché

Typically, a military attaché serves on the diplomatic staff of an embassy or consulate while retaining a military commission.

Science attaché

A science attaché advises on issues pertaining to science and technology.[1]

Health attaché

A health attaché advises on global health issues and may serve multiple functions.[2]

Holy See

The title is also used in reference to diplomacy and in the hierarchical administration of the intergovernmental organization. Especially in the latter cases, the official often provides a particular expertise in the service of the Church, thus, legal or otherwise.


In the ministries of the Belgian federal state the term is used, since 2005 replacing the term adjunct-adviseur (in Dutch) or conseiller-adjoint (in French), normally used for college graduates, one rank under the head of a competence section.


In Colombia attachés are increasingly being appointed at younger ages. This is part of the policy of political liberalization enacted by President Álvaro Uribe. The attachés are generally appointed from the great families of Colombian history, most recently the House of Restrepo gaining increasing prominence. This policy has been described by USA Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as "bringing fresh ideas into the diplomatic community, by giving a voice to our young and building the great leaders of our future".

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Linkov, Igor (2014-03-13). "Diplomacy for Science Two Generations Later". Science & Diplomacy 3 (1). 
  2. ^ Brown, Matthew. "Bridging Public Health and Foreign Affairs". Science & Diplomacy 3 (3). 


  • Cullen, Glen T. (1999). "Preparing for battle: Learning Lessons in the US Army during World War I." U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC), Combined Arms Research Library.
  • ---. Office of the Chief of Staff, Second (military) Information Division. (1906). Reports of the Military Observers attached to the Armies in Manchuria during the Russo-Japanese War, Vol. I; (1907). Vol. II. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
  • Sisemore, James D. (2003). "The Russo-Japanese War, Lessons Not Learned." CGSC.
  • ---. (1907). The Russo-Japanese War, Reports from British Officers Attached to the Japanese Forces in the Field, Vol. I; (1908). Vol. II. London: General Staff.
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