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Vice President

A vice president is an officer in government or business who is next in rank below a president.

The name comes from the Latin vice meaning in place of.

Vice Presidents in Government

In politics, Vice Presidents are sometimes elected jointly with the president as his or her running mate, elected separately, or appointed independently after the president's election.

Governments with vice presidents generally have only one person holding this role and generally if the president is not present, dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to fulfill his job, the vice president will serve as a president. In many presidential systems, the vice president does not wield much day to day political power, but is still considered an important member of the cabinet. Many Vice Presidents in the Americas hold the symbolic position of President of the Senate.

The vice president can sometimes assume some of the symbolic and less important functions of president, such as some ceremonial functions and events that the actual president may be too busy to attend; the Vice President of the United States, for example often attends funerals of world leaders on behalf of the president.

In parliamentary systems, most states do not have a vice president but instead name another office-holder, often the chairperson or president of the upper house of parliament, to act as effective vice president. In the Republic of Ireland, a collective vice presidency exists called the Presidential Commission, made up of the Ceann Comhairle (chairperson of Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives), Cathaoirleach (chairperson of Seanad Éireann (Senate) and the Irish Chief Justice.

See also: Vice President of the United States

Corporate Vice Presidents

In business, vice-president refers to a rank in senior or middle management. Most companies who use this title generally have large numbers of persons with the title of vice president with different types of vice president (i.e. vice president for finance).

A corporate vice-president is rarely "second in line" to succeed the corporate president following death or resignation. Such decisions are usually left up to the board of directors.