Perales Confirmed as Secretary of State for NY


CONTACT: Madeline Friedman, Media Relations Coordinator, 212-739-7581, 201-600-1397 or

The NY State Senate has unanimously confirmed former LatinoJustice PRLDEF President and General Counsel Cesar A. Perales as Secretary of the New York State Department of State.

Perales was co-founder of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (now LatinoJustice PRLDEF), and served as its first Executive Director and returned later in his career to serve as iPresident and General Counsel.

The LatinoJustice PRLDEF family is incredibly proud of Perales' appointment. "Cesar's career is a testament to his commitment to social justice and public well-being," Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice said. "For years, he has fought to defend the rights and improve the lives of Latinos across the country. I am certain that he will continue to work just as tirelessly on behalf of the most vulnerable members of society in his new capacity as Secretary of State of New York."

Perales grew up in New York City. He earned his B.A. from City College of New York in 1962 and a J.D. from Fordham Law School in 1965. He has spent more than four decades as a dedicated public servant. He has held numerous positions in both public and private sectors throughout his distinguished career, including:

  • Founding 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

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