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Hon. Pedro A. Cortés

Partner, Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith (HGSK).

The Honorable Pedro A. Cortés served as Pennsylvania Secretary of State from 2003 to 2010.  He was the first confirmed Latino Cabinet member and the longest serving Secretary of State in Pennsylvania history.

Secretary Cortés’ portfolio at the Department of State includes professional licensure, corporate filings, charitable registrations, notary commissions and sports oversight.

During his tenure, the department successfully administered 15 primary and general elections and implemented the Help America Vote Act.

Cortés was the first Pennsylvanian to serve as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State, a position he held during the historic 2008 Presidential Election cycle. Under his leadership, the association strengthened cooperative relationships between the states and actively engaged the White House, Congress and federal agencies.

A lawyer by training, Cortés was previously the senior advisor for Latino Affairs to three Pennsylvania governors. His professional pursuits have also included work with the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

Secretary Cortés has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: Hispanic Business Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States; American Lawyer Media Lawyer on the Fast Track; Central Penn Business Journal‘s Top Forty Under 40 business leaders in Central Pennsylvania; and The Pennsylvania State University Alumni Fellow, the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association.

Cortés earned his Bachelor of Science in hotel, restaurant and travel administration from the University of Massachusetts, master’s of public administration from Penn State University and juris doctor from Penn State Dickinson School of Law.  He also holds doctorate degrees honoris causa from King’s College, Harcum College and Widener University School of Law.

Presently, Cortés is a partner with the law firm of Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith (HGSK).  He oversees HGSK’s Community Services Outreach & Support office (CSOS).  The mission of CSOS is to help families who have recently suffered a tragedy by putting them in contact with social service organizations, government agencies and other entities that can provide support, including, when requested, recommendations for legal services.

A native of Puerto Rico, Secretary Cortés has lived in Pennsylvania since 1990.


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