In the context of addressing an unknown individual in an email/letter, how does one include persons belonging to the broad gender spectrum? For instance, in binary terms Dear Mam/Sir was the norm for a while. What would be the appropriate/ widely accepted way to address an audience which could be non-binary, to ensure that any receiver is not offended?

As a specific scenario, assume that I am writing to a non-academic committee, therefore, the usage of First Name is ruled out ( being too personal), also I cannot use words such as Dear Professor (since the occupation is not Professor). Note that I am aware of previous (old) questions on gender neutral words in a letter and this. Do we have any new words in current usage? While I agree that "To whomsoever it may concern" may be used, as mentioned in one of the questions:

addressing the person by his/her title is a little more specific and evidence that you've put some thought into it.

  • @whiskeychief, while it is politically correct, in the context of writing an important email, it may not give the desired first impression. Any references are welcome. Feb 18, 2019 at 11:10
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    Consider "Dear Colleague". link Feb 18, 2019 at 11:14
  • @whiskeychief , yes, but it seems like a specific thing isnt it? Suppose I am writing to a group of Managers or a some Deans in an institution, do we have an answer that would be suitable for these scenarios? Feb 18, 2019 at 11:19
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    "Dear members of the search committee" link, Dear managers; Dear deans; "Greetings" link; Greetings from Peoria; or eliminate the salutation link especially if in email. Feb 18, 2019 at 11:24
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    "Dear members of the search committee" is an excellent suggestion, or use "Dear head official of the search committee" for an "individual".
    – user22542
    Feb 18, 2019 at 11:51

2 Answers 2


As you've ruled out 'to whom it may concern' I would probably go for

Dear Committee Member(s)

As that it what they all are, and is relevant to the letter you are writing.

(s) depending on if it's a letter to each of them, or a singular letter to the goup.


As suggested in the comments "Dear members of the search committee" would be an excellent suggestion, or use "Dear head official of the search committee" for an "individual".

You might also use "Dear honorable search committee" to emphasize the "honorific" aspect of your question. You can decide.

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