Deputy Chief of Mission
A Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM), is the number-two diplomat
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

 assigned to an embassy or other diplomatic mission
Diplomatic mission
A diplomatic mission is a group of people from one state or an international inter-governmental organisation present in another state to represent the sending state/organisation in the receiving state...

. He or she is usually considered the second-in-command or top lieutenant
A lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer in many nations' armed forces. Typically, the rank of lieutenant in naval usage, while still a junior officer rank, is senior to the army rank...

 to the Head of Mission
Head of Mission
In diplomatic usage, Head of Mission or Chief of Mission from the French "Chef de Mission Diplomatique" is the generic term used to refer to the head of a diplomatic representation, such as an Ambassador, High Commissioner, Nuncio, Chargé d'affaires, Permanent Representative, and sometimes to a...

 (usually an ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

). DCMs serve as Acting Chief of Mission or chargé d'affaires
Chargé d'affaires
In diplomacy, chargé d’affaires , often shortened to simply chargé, is the title of two classes of diplomatic agents who head a diplomatic mission, either on a temporary basis or when no more senior diplomat has been accredited.-Chargés d’affaires:Chargés d’affaires , who were...

 when the Head of Mission is outside of the host country or when the post is vacant.

DCMs typically serve as a key advisor to the Chief of Mission as well as a chief of staff
Chief of Staff
The title, chief of staff, identifies the leader of a complex organization, institution, or body of persons and it also may identify a Principal Staff Officer , who is the coordinator of the supporting staff or a primary aide to an important individual, such as a president.In general, a chief of...

, responsible for the day-to-day management of the post. The DCM will oversee the heads of sections (Political, Economic, Public Affairs, Management, Consular) at the Embassy, such as the DCMs also serve as de facto ombudsmen
An ombudsman is a person who acts as a trusted intermediary between an organization and some internal or external constituency while representing not only but mostly the broad scope of constituent interests...

, responding to employee concerns and quality of life issues. Most career Ambassadors have served as a DCM prior to their first assignment as Chief of Mission.
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