December 19, 2013
Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Nandita Berry of Houston as the 109th Texas Secretary of State effective Jan. 7, 2014. The first Indian-American to fill the post, Berry 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. The Secretary of State’s Office also serves as the formal repository for official and business records, publishes government rules and regulations, keeps the state seal and attests to the governor’s signature on official documents.
“Nandita Berry personifies what is possible through hard work and dedication in the State of Texas,” Gov. Perry said. “Arriving from India at the age of 21 with nothing but $200 to her name, she worked diligently to earn her law degree and has since become one of the most accomplished attorneys in the state. Her work ethic, intelligence and wide array of experiences will serve her capably in her new duties as Secretary of State, and I look forward to working with her to keep Texas the best place in the country to live, work and raise a family.”
“I am truly humbled to follow in the footsteps of Stephen F. Austin, Texas’ first Secretary of State,” Berry said. “Like him, I came to Texas in search of a better life and the limitless opportunities to be found across our great state. Every day, I see Austin’s pioneering spirit alive in Texas, and this great honor proves once again Texas is the land of opportunity, both in the private sector and public service.”
Berry is senior counsel at Locke Lord LLP. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas and Houston Bar Association. She is a past member of the University of Houston Board of Regents, and past board member of the Houston Zoo Inc., South Asian Chamber of Commerce, Houston Area Women’s Center, and the Community Family Center of Houston. Berry received a bachelor’s degree from Mt. Carmel College in Bangalore, India, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston, and a law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.