Kathy Boockvar was appointed Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth on January 5, 2019 and confirmed by the Senate on November 19, 2019. In this role, Boockvar leads the Pennsylvania Department of State.
The mission of the Department is to promote the integrity of the electoral process, to support economic development through corporate filings and transactions, and to protect the health and safety of the public through professional licensure. The department upholds the highest standards of ethics and competence in the areas of elections, campaign finance, notarization, professional and occupational licensure, charitable solicitation, and professional boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts.
Boockvar is an attorney with an extensive background in public interest law and policy, election administration, and nonprofit healthcare administration, and has worked in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Most recently, she served as senior adviser to the governor on election modernization, leading and managing initiatives to improve security and technology in Pennsylvania's elections and voting systems, in collaboration with federal, state, and county officials.
Prior to joining the Department of State in 2018, Boockvar served as executive director of Lifecycle WomanCare, one of the oldest continually operating birth centers in the U.S. She led and oversaw operations, management, and policies of the nonprofit women's healthcare organization, established and strengthened key partnerships with physicians, hospitals, and other organizations and professionals, and expanded services and programs.
Boockvar previously served as chief counsel for the Pennsylvania Auditor General, overseeing legal and interagency matters, and served as the Auditor General's designee on the Board of Commissioners of the Delaware River Port Authority.
For many years, Boockvar worked as a poll worker and as a voting-rights attorney, gaining extensive knowledge of and experience with state and federal election laws and regulations, as well as local and county-level practices and procedures in Pennsylvania. Boockvar also worked for over a decade as a private practice attorney with a focus on employment law, and she began her career as a nonprofit Legal Services attorney, representing low-income, disabled, and senior clients, and victims of domestic violence.
Boockvar is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (B.A. 1990) and the American University, Washington College of Law (J.D. 1993). She received a Performance Leadership Certificate from Cornell University in 2014, and is a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, Third Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Courts, and Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington, D.C. courts.
In 2017, she received a SmartCEO Brava Award that recognizes high-impact female business leaders. She has been a volunteer attorney with Wills for Heroes since 2012, providing essential legal documents free of charge to first responders.
In August 2019, Boockvar was appointed to serve as the Elections Committee Co-Chair for the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), working with her co-chair and Secretaries of State across the country to share best practices and provide the most secure and accessible elections to all eligible voters. In that capacity, she also serves as a NASS representative on the Election Infrastructure Subsector Government Coordinating Council (EIS-GCC). The EIS-GCC is a first of its kind collaboration among federal, state, and local officials to secure elections, working to formalize and improve information-sharing and communication protocols to ensure that timely threat information, support, and resources reach all election officials so they can respond to threats as they emerge.