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A dignitary is an individual who is on the Protocol List and who is given recognition at Toastmasters events. Dignitaries include District Officers, Division Directors, Area Directors, Past District Governors and some other categories of people. See Protocol List.

Since there are over 1,000 club officers (as of 2016) in Founders District, club officers are not usually recognized as dignitaries because of time limitations. However, there is no prohibition against recognizing club officers who are not contestants.

A dignitary who attends an event might also be serving as a functionary at that event. However, some dignitaries are disqualified from acting as contestants at a contest event. See Speech Contest Rulebook.