The president of the United States is the head of state of the U.S., the chief executive of the federal government, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The United States was the first nation to create the office of president as the head of state in a modern republic.
The 45th and current president of the United States is Donald J. Trump. He was sworn in on January 20, 2017.
Requirements to Hold Office
According to Article II of the U.S. Constitution, the president must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, be at least 35 years old, and have been a resident of the United States for 14 years.
State of the Union Address
The Constitution requires the president to give Congress a State of the Union, which is a report that addresses a president's legislative proposals and other plans for the country. There is no requirement stating what form or how often the report occurs; however, it normally occurs annually in the last week of January.
Contact the President
The president does not have a public direct telephone number. You can contact the White House by submitting your comments or questions online.
Vice President of the United States
The vice president of the United States of America is the president of the Senate and takes over the role of president if the president is unable to perform his or her duties. The vice president will become president if:
The president dies
The president resigns
The president is temporarily incapacitated
The vice president, and a majority of the Cabinet judge that the president is no longer able to discharge the duties of the presidency
Current Vice President
The 48th and current vice president of the United States is Michael R. Pence. He was sworn in for a four-year term on January 20, 2017.
Contact the Vice President
The vice president does not have a public direct telephone number. You can fill in an online form with comments.
The First Lady of the United States has traditionally been the wife or other close female relative of the president of the United States. First Ladies are the hostesses of the White House, serve as advisors to the president, and are often involved in social issues. Over the course of American history, the role of the First Lady has changed and evolved.
The U.S. Constitution and the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 outline the presidential order of succession. The line of succession of cabinet officers is in the order of their agencies’ creation.
If the President of the United States is incapacitated, dies, resigns, is for any reason unable to hold his/her office, or is removed from office, he/she will be replaced in the following order:
Speaker of the House
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary of Defense
Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Secretary of Homeland Security
Overview of the Presidential Election Process
An election for president of the United States occurs every four years on Election Day, held the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The next presidential election will be held on November 3, 2020.
During the general election, Americans go to their polling place to cast their vote for president. But the tally of those votes—the popular vote—does not determine the winner. Instead, presidential elections use the Electoral College. To win the election, a candidate must receive a majority of electoral votes. In the event no candidate receives the majority, the House of Representatives chooses the president and the Senate chooses the vice president.
The presidential election process follows a typical cycle:
Spring of the year before an election – Candidates announce their intentions to run.
Summer of the year before an election through spring of the election year – Primary and caucus debates take place.
January to June of election year – States and parties hold primaries and caucuses.
July to early September – Parties hold nominating conventions to choose their candidates.
September and October – Candidates participate in presidential debates.
Early November – Election Day
December – Electors cast their votes in the Electoral College.
Early January of the next calendar year – Congress counts the electoral votes.