For Immediate Release
March 25, 2009

Contact: Eric Wagner (213) 747-7606, ext. 4427


One of Nation’s Highest Ranking Latina Elected Officials Becomes
First Woman to Lead National Organization

LOS ANGELESThe Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), the leadership organization of the nation’s more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials, today elected New Mexico Secretary of State Mary Herrera to serve as the organization’s President.  Secretary of State Herrera was previously the organization’s Vice President and becomes the sixth person and first woman to lead NALEO.

Secretary of State Herrera will serve the remainder of the unexpired term of the NALEO Presidency left vacant by the resignation of Adolfo Carrión, who left his posts earlier this month as Bronx Borough and NALEO President to serve in the Obama Administration as White House Director of Urban Affairs. 

Secretary of State Herrera is currently one of the highest-ranking state Latino elected officials in the country.  She is also one of only three Latinas elected statewide. 

A public servant for more than 35 years, Secretary of State Herrera rose through the ranks of Bernalillo County government, starting her career as a clerk typist and becoming Assistant Comptroller in 1989.  From 1996 to 2000, she served the county as Director of Human Resources.  Following her retirement as a county employee, she was elected in 2000 as Bernalillo County Clerk and was re-elected in 2004.  In 2006, she successfully won election as New Mexico Secretary of State, the office she currently holds. 

“I am deeply honored and humbled in the confidence my colleagues have in my leadership for this very important organization,” said Secretary of State Herrera. “During the difficult times our nation is facing, I am proud of the public service Latino elected officials are providing to lead our nation in the right direction.  NALEO plays a critical role in supporting their leadership and I am proud to serve my colleagues in this capacity,” she concluded. 

“Mary Herrera’s Presidency represents a new chapter in the history of NALEO,” said NALEO Executive Director Arturo Vargas,  “the NALEO Board of Directors and membership look forward to President Herrera’s leadership during this critical time for our nation.”




The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials is the leadership organization of the nation's more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials.