Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Seal of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.svg
Seal of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Al Schmidt[1]
 since January 17, 2023 (2023-01-17)
Pennsylvania Department of State
First holderTimothy Matlack
WebsiteOfficial website

The secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (or "secretary of state") administers the Pennsylvania Department of State of the U.S. state (officially, "commonwealth") of Pennsylvania.

The secretary is appointed by the governor subject to confirmation by the state senate.[2] Since January 2023, the acting secretary is Al Schmidt, a Republican appointed by Governor Josh Shapiro.


The department protects the public's health, safety, and welfare by licensing more than one million business, health, and real estate professionals; maintaining registration and financial information for thousands of charities soliciting contributions from Pennsylvanians; overseeing Pennsylvania's electoral process; maintaining corporate filings; and sanctioning professional boxing, kick–boxing and wrestling in the commonwealth. Unlike many other states which elect the secretary of state, in Pennsylvania, this position is appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Pennsylvania Senate.

The secretary is the keeper of the Great Seal of the Commonwealth and authenticates government documents through the seal's use. The secretary is also the commonwealth's chief election official.

Boards and commissions[edit]

  • Chairman of the Pennsylvania Election Reform Task Force
  • Chairman of the Navigation Commission for the Delaware River and Its Navigable Tributaries
  • The Board of Finance and Revenue
  • The Board of Property
  • The Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement Board
  • The State Athletic Commission
  • The Interbranch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness
  • The Lobbying Disclosure Regulations Committee

Secretaries of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania[edit]

Image Name Dates served Appointed by
Timothy Matlack.jpg Timothy Matlack 1777–1783 Thomas Wharton Jr.
John Armstrong Jr Rembrandt Peale.jpg John Armstrong, Jr. 1783–1787 John Dickinson
Charles Biddle. Vice Pres't of the Supreme Exece. Counl. of Pennsylvania - DMS (monogram). LCCN2016649133.jpg Charles Biddle 1787–1791 Benjamin Franklin
Alexander James Dallas (1791–1844).png Alexander J. Dallas 1791–1801 Thomas Mifflin
Thomas McKean Thompson 1801–1808 Thomas McKean
Nathaniel B. Boileau 1808–1817 Simon Snyder
Thomas Sergeant 1817–1819 William Findlay
SIng.jpg Samuel D. Ingham 1819–1820
AndrewGregg.jpg Andrew Gregg 1820–1823 Joseph Hiester
Molton C. Rogers 1823–1826 John Andrew Shulze
Isaac Barnard.jpg Isaac D. Barnard 1826–1827
Calvin Blythe 1827–1829
SamuelMcKean.jpg Samuel McKean 1829–1833 George Wolf
James Findley 1833–1835
Thomas Henry Burrowes.jpg Thomas Henry Burrowes 1835–1839 Joseph Ritner
FrancisShunk.jpg Francis R. Shunk 1839–1842 David R. Porter
Anson V. Parsons 1842–1843
Charles McClure 1843–1845
Jesse Miller 1845–1848 Francis R. Shunk
Townsend Haines 1848–1850 William F. Johnston
Alexander L. Russel 1850–1852
Francis W. Hughes 1852–1853 William Bigler
Charles A Black 1853–1855
Abraham Lincoln (1897) (14591313577).jpg Andrew Gregg Curtin 1855–1858 James Pollock
William M. Heister 1858–1861 William F. Packer
Eli Slifer 1861–1867 Andrew Gregg Curtin
Francis Jordan 1867–1873 John W. Geary
MatthewQuay.jpg Matthew S. Quay 1873–1878 John F. Hartranft
John Blair Linn 1878–1879
MatthewQuay.jpg Matthew S. Quay 1879–1882 Henry M. Hoyt
Francis Jordan 1882–1883
William Stenger - Brady-Handy.jpg William S. Stenger 1883–1887 Robert E. Pattison
CharlesWarrenStone.jpg Charles Warren Stone 1887–1890 James A. Beaver
Jacob H. Longnecker 1890–1891
William Francis Harrity.png William F. Harrity 1891–1895 Robert E. Pattison
Frank Reeder 1895–1897 Daniel H. Hastings
David Martin 1897–1899
William W. Griest (Pennsylvania Congressman).jpg William Walton Griest 1899–1903 William A. Stone
Frank M. Fuller 1903–1905 Samuel W. Pennypacker
Robert B. McAfee 1905–1915
Cyrus Woods 2.jpg Cyrus Woods 1915–1921 Martin Grove Brumbaugh
Bernard J. Myers 1921–1923 William Cameron Sproul
Clyde L. King 1923–1926 Gifford Pinchot
E. H. Conarroe 1926–1927
Charles Johnson 1927–1929 John Stuchell Fisher
Robert R. Lewis 1929–1930
James Walker 1930–1931
Richard J. Beamish 1931–1934 Gifford Pinchot
John J. Owen 1934–1935
David L. Lawrence (1).jpg David L. Lawrence 1935–1939 George Earle
Sophia O'Hara 1939–1943 Arthur James
Charles M. Morrison 1943–1949 Edward Martin
Gene D. Smith 1949–1955 James H. Duff
James A. Finnegan 1955 Edward Martin
Henry Harner 1955–1956 George M. Leader
James A. Finnegan 1956–1958
John S Rice (1964).jpg John S. Rice 1958–1961
E. James Trimarchi 1961–1963 David L. Lawrence
George I. Bloom 1963–1965 William Scranton
W. Stuart Helm 1965–1967
Craig Truax 1967–1968 Raymond P. Shafer
Joseph J. Kelley 1968–1971
C. Delores Tucker.jpg C. Delores Tucker 1971–1977 Milton Shapp
James D. Golden 1977
Barton A. Fields 1977–1979
Ethel D. Allen 1979 Dick Thornburgh
William R. Davis 1979–1985
Richard E. Anderson 1985
Robert A Gleason, Jr. 1985–1987
James J. Haggerty 1987–1989 Bob Casey Sr.
Christopher A. Lewis 1989–1991
Brenda K. Mitchell 1992–1994
Robert N. Grant 1994–1995
Yvette Kane 1995–1998 Tom Ridge
Kim Pizzingrilli 1999–2002
C. Michael Weaver 2002–2003 Mark Schweiker
Cortes-nass.jpg Pedro Cortés 2003–2010 Ed Rendell
Basil L. Merenda 2010–2011
Carol Aichele 2011–2015 Tom Corbett
Cortes-nass.jpg Pedro Cortés 2015–2017 Tom Wolf
Robert Torres 2017–2019
Wolf Administration Holds Evening Election Update Press Conference (50569909631) (cropped).jpg Kathy Boockvar 2019–2021
Veronica Degraffenreid (acting) 2021–2022
Gov. Wolf Expands Voter Registration Access for Eligible Pennsylvanians (52342202250) (cropped).jpg Leigh M. Chapman (acting) 2022–2023
Al Schmidt 2021 (cropped).jpg Al Schmidt (acting)[3] 2023–present Josh Shapiro

Structure of the Department of State[edit]

The Pennsylvania Department of State consists of six bureaus: [4]

  • Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
  • Bureau of Finance and Operations
  • Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation
  • Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs
  • Bureau of Commissions, Elections, and Legislation
  • State Athletic Commission

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  2. ^ "About Us". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  3. ^ Montellaro, Zach. "Pennsylvania's new Dem governor nominates Republican Schmidt to run state elections". POLITICO. Retrieved 2023-01-05.
  4. ^ "PA Department of State History". Pennsylvania Department of State. Retrieved 26 October 2022.

External links[edit]