AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Gov. Rick Perry has named John T. Steen Jr. of San Antonio the 108th Secretary of State in Texas history. Steen's appointment takes effect on Tuesday. "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 statement. "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."
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 matters," according to the statement. His office will also be responsible for publishing government rules and regulations, keeping the state seal, attesting to the governor's signature on official documents, and serving as the formal repository for official and business records. "I am humbled and deeply honored by Gov. Perry's appointment to serve Texas as its 108th Secretary of State," said Secretary Steen in the statement. "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 received his bachelor's degree from Princeton University and his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Steen is an attorney and past board member of the Texas Public Safety Commission. He is a fellow of the San Antonio Bar Foundation, a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and an executive committee member of the University of Texas System Chancellor's Council and a member of the Distinguished Leaders Council. He is also vice chairman of the University of Texas San Antonio Development Board, past president of the Fiesta San Antonio Commission and past chairman of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio.
Additionally, he is a 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. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve.