Fordham Law

Cesar A. Perales '65 Nominated for New York Secretary of State

April 04, 2011

Fordham Law alumnus Cesar A. Perales '65 has been nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo to become the Secretary of State of New York. Perales will also serve as a senior advisor for Cesar A. Perales '65policy to the Governor.
"Cesar Perales has devoted his life to public service," Governor Cuomo said. "He is one of our most distinguished New Yorkers and will be an exceptional Secretary of State. I look forward to working with Cesar in making New York stronger and restoring dignity and honor to our state government."

Perales has a 50-year record as a dedicated public servant. As co-founder of the Latino Justice Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (Latino Justice PRLDEF), Perales served as its first Executive Director and returned later in his career to serve as its President and General Counsel.
Perales has held numerous positions in both public and private sectors throughout his distinguished career, including

  • Founder of the first Brooklyn Legal Services Office
  • General Counsel for the Model Cities Administration, under Mayor John V. Lindsay
  • Assistant Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, nominated by President Jimmy Carter
  • Commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Service, appointed by former Governor Mario M. Cuomo
  • Deputy Mayor of New York City under Mayor David N. Dinkins
  • Senior Vice President for Community Health at The New York Presbyterian Hospital
  • Senior Fellow at Baruch College School of Public Affairs 

As Secretary of State of New York, Perales will be leading the oldest agency in the New York State government. The Department of State provides a variety of services to citizens, community organizations, businesses and local governments. With over 17 divisions, the Department is one of the state's most diverse agencies, and the broad nature of the Department's work has an impact on all New Yorkers.

Perales earned his B.A. from City College of New York in 1962 before enrolling at Fordham Law. Throughout his career, Perales has been recognized for his dedication to community development and social justice. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Lehman College, the Thurgood Marshall Award from Seton Hall University Law School, and the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic National Bar Association, among other distinctions.