Difference between Ambassador and Diplomat

Key Difference: The term diplomat is currently used to define any person that is appointed to a position that requires them to conduct diplomacy with another sovereign country or international organization. An ambassador is basically the highest ranking diplomat that is allowed to represent the home country in a host country.

 The terms ambassador and diplomat are often thrown around, although no one seems to know the difference between these two terms. The terms are actually related, but not exactly related. An ambassador is actually a type of diplomat; additionally it is a rank in diplomacy.

Prior to the 19th century, each country had its own system of ranking its diplomats. In 1815, the Congress of Vienna formally established an international system of diplomatic ranks. The ranks included: Ambassador, Envoy, Minister Resident and Charge d'affaires. The system was ruled as a failure, when certain sovereign states were only sharing the highest ranking officials with only other powerful sovereign states. Hence, the system and their terminology were made obsolete.

The term diplomat is currently used to define any person that is appointed to a position that requires them to conduct diplomacy with another sovereign country or international organization. The diplomat will represent the company and be responsible for taking decisions on behalf of home country. The job entails traveling to different countries and sometimes living there indefinitely until they are asked to return back, or the diplomat decides to resign their post. They are also expected to interact with foreign dignitaries, assist the citizens of their country that are visiting or living in other countries and aid refugees and foreigners.

Diplomats are the oldest form of any of the foreign policy institutions of the state, predating by centuries foreign ministers and ministerial offices. They are expected to be excellent negotiators and advocates to the host country. They are considered as the representation of the home country to the host country. They speak and perform actions that reflect what the home country wants them to do.

An ambassador is actually a rank or a title, while diplomat is an occupation. An ambassador is basically the highest ranking diplomat that is allowed to represent the home country in a host country and has plenipotentiary powers, basically full authority to represent the government. Ambassadors are entitled to use the title "His/Her Excellency". In Commonwealth countries, the equivalent title that is normally used is High Commissioner, who represents the government rather than the head of state.

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