The Arabic word means 'prince' or 'ruler', but in the Qadiani terminology, he (there are no female ameers) is the head of the country-wide organization, elected by representatives during the Shura and the election approved by the Khalifa. While missionaries are almost always of Pakistani origin, the ameer is a local of the country especially if there is a sizable number of Ahmadi locals.

The Lahori Ahmadiyya refer to their worldwide leader as ameer.