Definition of designated survivor in English:

designated survivor


  • (in the US) a member of the cabinet eligible to succeed to the presidency who is instructed to be absent from a gathering attended by the president and other potential successors so as to be able, in case of an attack killing those at the event, to serve as acting president.

    ‘he was tapped to be designated survivor during the State of the Union address’
    • ‘The tradition of a designated survivor probably dates to the 1960s Cold War era.’
    • ‘There are ten eligible members of the current cabinet who have never been picked for the job of designated survivor.’
    • ‘These days, the designated survivor is given presidential-level security, escorted to an undisclosed location, and accompanied by a military aide carrying “the football”.’
    • ‘The practice of picking a designated survivor is a consequence of the Presidential Succession Act, which establishes the protocol for determining who becomes commander-in-chief if both the sitting president and their vice president are killed or unable to serve.’
    • ‘If you're wondering exactly where the designated survivor goes during the speech, you'll have to keep wondering, as that's a closely-guarded secret.’
    • ‘The designated survivor is meant to be someone in a Senate-confirmed position, eliminating many of the Cabinet officials currently in acting roles.’
    • ‘He wrote that as designated survivor he actually spent the night of Clinton's State of the Union at his daughter's New York City apartment.’
    • ‘The small town of Oxford fell within the radius that the Secret Service would allow, wanting the designated survivor to not be in, but not be far from, Washington, D.C.’
    • ‘Historians say records of designated survivors go back to at least the 1980s.’
    • ‘Former Commerce Secretary Donald Evans is the only person to serve as the official designated survivor twice for State of the Union addresses.’