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Governor-elect Josh Shapiro nominates C70 President and CEO Al Schmidt as Secretary of the Commonwealth

PHILADELPHIA – January 5, 2023 –Today, Governor-elect Josh Shapiro announced his intent to appoint Al Schmidt, President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy, as Secretary of the Commonwealth.

What is the Committee of Seventy’s loss is surely the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s gain. The Board and staff agree with the Governor-elect that there is no better person for this important job and critical moment. 

C70 Board Chair Eric Kraeutler said, “we have cherished our working relationship with Al and are deeply grateful for his contributions to Seventy, but this is a wonderful development for the Commonwealth and the cause of democracy.”

Al’s commitment to ensuring that every eligible vote is counted, and Pennsylvania voters have what they need to successfully cast their ballot has never wavered, from his time as Commissioner of Philadelphia through his tenure as CEO of the Committee of Seventy, which began January 1, 2022.

During Al’s tenure, the Committee of Seventy broke several fundraising records for the institution; reached an unprecedented number of people through the growth of its WeVote voter engagement program and its k-12 civic education programs; and successfully advocated for the passage of the Electoral Count Act in Congress.

Furthermore, media organizations turned to Seventy for an accurate and honest assessment of conversations surrounding elections both nationally and locally, reaching an unprecedented number of voters ahead of a pivotal midterm election cycle for the nation and the Commonwealth.

Al’s experience as an election administrator and advocate for free, fair elections, combined with Seventy’s longstanding reputation as an advocate for better government, placed renewed focus on the mechanics of elections, the reforms needed to secure the vote, and the complex needs of elections officials across Pennsylvania. 

Al had a remarkable impact on the Committee of Seventy and many victories to celebrate this past year. Still, the fight to strengthen our democracy continues, and we are more confident than ever that the city and our Commonwealth will be prepared to tackle any challenges to the integrity of our elections and ensure the voice of every citizen is heard.

Thanks in part to Al’s stellar leadership, the Committee of Seventy is in a strong position and will announce plans for its leadership transition in the coming weeks.