Is there a word for a position that one succeeds in as a result of occupying a lower position? E.g., say, a committee has elected a Chair and Vice-Chair for a term of 3 years. The Vice-Chair will become the Chair automatically after 3 years. As a result, the elections are held every 3 years only for the Vice-Chair position.

So, if I am elected a Vice-Chair for the term 2021-2024, how do I communicate in my CV that I will also be a Chair starting 2024-2027?

Is it correct to say I am the "ex-officio" Chair for 2024-2027? Or should I say I am the "Chair-elect" for 2024-2027? The latter is not accurate because the committee does not elect a Chair. It only elects a Vice-Chair, who becomes Chair after 3 years.



2 Answers 2


Ex-officio does mean "by virtue of one's office" and could include the situation you describe, but it's not usually used for future appointments. It's generally applied to current appointments held because another office is also held.

For example, a parish priest is also chaplain to a college, but only because he is that particular parish priest. He is chaplain ex-officio.

Future appointments are usually described as "-designate" or "-elect" depending on whether the future holder has been elected for the role or marked for appointment to it.

Here, you were elected as Vice-chair, rather than Chair. You won't be elected as Chair, but you will be appointed to that position, presumably because that's what the organisation's constitution says should happen.

So you are "-designate". "Chair-designate" is awkward to my ears and "chairman-designate" sounds better, but if you need to use the word Chair because that's what the constitution says, you'll need to use it.

Elect is added after words such as 'president' or 'governor' to indicate that a person has been elected to the post but has not officially started to carry out the duties involved.

Designate is used to describe someone who has been formally chosen to do a particular job, but has not yet started doing it.

Japan's Prime Minister-designate is completing his Cabinet today.


  • Thanks for this explanation!
    – r2d2
    Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 15:42

"shoo-in" (note: note "shoe-in") and "presumptive" both mean close to what you're asking for, but not quite. "shoo-in for chair" implies there is some formal competition, but you're pretty much guaranteed to succeed. "Presumptive chair" means you're expected to be the chair, but doesn't communicate it being automatic. "Scheduled" might convey your meaning. Looking at "next" in a thesaurus, there are several more candidates such as "succeeding", but I think "upcoming" is probably the best.

: happening or appearing soon : FORTHCOMING, APPROACHING


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