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I'm looking for a word which describes a certain relationship.

There are two people Adam, and Barry; and Adam sends Barry on a mission for him.
It can be said that Barry is Adam's emissary, but what is Adam to Barry?
I'm looking for an inverse word for emissary, such as employer is the inverse of employee.

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You may use "sender" in general, but depending on your context you may need different word(s); for example, in diplomatic context, you may use "government, "authority" e.t.c.

  • Diplomatic practice is to speak of 'the sending state' and 'the receiving state'. – Barrie England Feb 27 '12 at 12:14
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Perhaps agency?

: an establishment engaged in doing business for another

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Would the term principal work?

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