Al Schmidt Takes Office as Secretary of the Commonwealth

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Al Schmidt officially became Secretary of the Commonwealth in accordance with the Pennsylvania Constitution.  

Governor Shapiro nominated Schmidt, a former Philadelphia City Commissioner, in January. Pursuant to Pennsylvania Constitution Article IV Section 8b, Schmidt took office after the Senate did not act upon his nomination within 25 legislative days. 

"It's a privilege to be able to serve Pennsylvania as Secretary of the Commonwealth. I'm grateful to Governor Shapiro for nominating me," Schmidt said. "Throughout my career, I've worked almost exclusively in nonpartisan and bipartisan environments to make government more efficient and effective in the delivery of public services, and I will continue that focus at the Department of State."

A Pittsburgh native and the first Secretary of the Commonwealth to emerge from the ranks of county election administrators, Schmidt was a member of Philadelphia's bipartisan board of elections for 10 years. He also worked as a senior performance analyst at the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office, where he conducted performance audits of federal programs on behalf of Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate. 

Since Governor Shapiro appointed Schmidt acting secretary on Jan. 17, the Department of State has: 

  • Safely and securely administered the May 16 municipal primary election, 
  • Expanded language access online for voters, 
  • Reduced waiting times for business and charitable organization filings from eight weeks to less than two weeks, and 
  • Provided a tool to help veterans and service members identify and relate civilian career opportunities and requirements to their prior military work experience. 
The Department of State promotes the integrity of the electoral process; provides the initial infrastructure for economic development through corporate organizations and transactions; protects public health and safety through professional and occupational licensing; and sanctions the sports of boxing, wrestling, and mixed martial arts in the commonwealth.  
Find Schmidt'sphoto and bio and learn more about the Department of State at


Media Contacts

Matt Heckel

Press Secretary
Department of State Media