Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez

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Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez
Secretary of State of New York
In office
January 1, 2007 – September 1, 2010
GovernorEliot Spitzer
David Paterson
Preceded byChristopher Jacobs
Succeeded byRuth Noemí Colón
Personal details
BornEast Harlem, New York
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materHunter College, New York University

Lorraine A. Cortés-Vázquez was the 65th Secretary of State of New York, serving in the Cabinet of Governor David Paterson. She originally served in the Cabinet of former Governor Eliot Spitzer and remained in office following Paterson's taking over the governorship on March 17, 2008. A former Vice President for Government and Public Affairs with Cablevision, she was Chief of staff to former New York Assemblyman Roberto Ramirez. From 2001-07, she served on the New York State Board of Regents.

As Secretary of State, she was formally responsible with accepting Spitzer's resignation from the governorship on March 17, 2008 due to a sex scandal. She also accepted the resignation of U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton when she resigned as New York's Senator to the United States Senate after she accepted the position of United States Secretary of State in President Barack Obama's newly formed cabinet. Lorraine is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent[1] and is the second person of Puerto Rican ancestry to serve as Secretary of State in a state of the Union, preceded only by Pedro Cortés, of Pennsylvania.


Cortés obtained her undergraduate degree at Hunter College in New York City, and a master's degree at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. She has pursued further studies at Columbia University's School of Non-Profit Management, as well as at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Private sector[edit]

She serves as Executive Vice President for Multicultural Markets and Engagement for the AARP,[2] resuming employment in the non-profit sector which included previous stints as Executive Director of ASPIRA in New York during the 1990s and president of the Hispanic Federation.[3]


  1. ^ New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés - Vázquez To Address The DANR 11th Annual National Conference in Providence Archived 2009-01-15 at the Wayback Machine from The Dominican American National Roundtable, date September 22, 2008. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  2. ^ Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez to Head AARP's New Multicultural Strategy, aarp.org, July 29, 2010.
  3. ^ ASPIRA Congratulates ASPIRAnte Lorraine Cortes on her new Appointment at AARP Archived 2010-10-19 at the Wayback Machine, ASPIRA.org; accessed August 2, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Christopher Jacobs
Secretary of State of New York
January 1, 2007 - September 1, 2010
Succeeded by
Ruth Noemí Colón