Gov. Rick Perry has named San Antonio attorney John T. Steen Jr. to replace Esperanza “Hope” Andrade as Texas Secretary of State.
As Secretary of State, Steen will serve as the state’s chief elections officer, the governor’s liaison on border and Mexican affairs and Texas’ chief protocol officer for state and international affairs.
"John's strong business background and dedication to public service throughout the years make him uniquely qualified to serve in this important role," Gov. Perry said in a Nov. 27 press release. "His leadership over our state's elections process, economic development efforts and international relations will be an integral part of Texas' goal to expand economic prosperity and opportunity for all Texans."
Steen has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. He also served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve.
"I am humbled and deeply honored by Gov. Perry's appointment to serve Texas as its 108th Secretary of State," said Secretary Steen. "Serving the State of Texas is an extraordinary privilege, and I look forward to promoting the Texas success story to create more economic opportunities for our citizens and continuing to work with our neighbor, Mexico, toward a prosperous future. As chief elections officer, I will make it my highest priority to preserve the integrity of our elections and ensure they are fair, accessible and secure."
Steen has served Texas on a statewide basis through several commissions.
He is a past board member of the Texas Public Safety Commission, past commissioner and past chair of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and a past member of the Texas Commission on Economy and Efficiency in State Government.
A fellow of the San Antonio Bar Foundation, Steen is also a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, an executive committee member of the University of Texas System Chancellor's Council and a member of the Distinguished Leaders Council.
Andrade stepped down from the position on Nov. 23, after almost four-and-a-half years on the job.
She was sworn in as Texas’ first Latina Secretary of State on July 23, 2008. She left office as the fourth-longest serving Secretary of State in Texas history.
In addition to the election and protocol duties, the Secretary of State's Office also serves as the formal repository for official and business records, publishes government rules and regulations, keeps the state seal and attests to the governor's signature on official documents.
Steen's appointment takes effect today.