Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez
Robert J. Rodriguez is currently serving as the Secretary of State. He was nominated by Governor Kathy Hochul to serve as New York’s 68th Secretary of State. Mr. Rodriguez is a uniquely accomplished leader and former legislator, with civic and legislative successes that have been focused strategically on investing in and developing public-good infrastructure projects, creating good-paying jobs and addressing financial disparities for historically underrepresented minorities and low-income communities.
Brendan C. Hughes
Deputy Secretary of State
In 2019, Brendan C. Hughes was appointed Executive Deputy Secretary of State at the New York State Department of State. A native of Delmar, NY, Mr. Hughes has served in various roles to advance strategic energy, economic development, technology, and other policy and program initiatives in New York State for over 15 years. Most recently, he played a vital operational role during the COVID-19 Global pandemic in setting up testing sites and later, vaccination sites across New York State.
Mr. Hughes began his career in public service as an intern with the Executive Chamber. While at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, he helped launch the inaugural Regional Economic Development Councils and Consolidated Funding Application which has helped a vast spectrum of businesses, community, and economic development organizations access critical economic development support. Mr. Hughes continued his public service career serving as Deputy Commissioner at Empire State Development and then Assistant Secretary for Economic Development in the Executive Chamber. Previously, Mr. Hughes served as the Deputy Secretary for General Government and Technology in the Executive Chamber. He holds a BA in Political Science from Siena College.
Linda Baldwin was appointed in 2013 as General Counsel to the Department of State. She oversees the Office of General Counsel, which provides legal support and counsel to the Secretary of State, the DOS Executive Team, and the diverse program offices of the Department. She also serves as the Department’s Ethics Officer. The Office of General Counsel coordinates the Department's legislative program, working with the Governor's Office and the Legislature on bills that will impact the Department and its programs.
Career Background: Linda has over 25 years’ experience in federal, state and local government. Before coming to the Department, she served as Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) and as Chief Management Analyst for the Office of Court Administration’s Chief Administrative Judge for Policy and Planning, for whom she planned and implemented groundbreaking problem-solving court initiatives such as mental health and drug treatment courts throughout the state’s Unified Court System.
Ms. Baldwin began her legal career in private practice following her clerkship with New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Gary S. Stein.
Education: Linda received her law degree from Columbia University, a masters in urban planning from New York University, and a BA from Amherst College.
Deputy Secretary of State for Public Affairs
Prior to joining DOS, she served as Deputy Commissioner for Communications and Operations at the Office of General Services overseeing all external and internal communications. Her portfolio included the Press Office, Digital and Media Services Center, Convention and Cultural Events and the Curatorial and Visitor Services programs. She also served as liaison with the Office of the Governor on events, equipment and facility needs and operations.
Before her time at OGS, she was the Deputy Communications Director for the Governor’s office managing 12 state agency communication offices, including DOS, as part of the economic development portfolio.
Michelle served as Press Officer for the Office of the Attorney General. In 2009, she began her state service career with the New York State Department of Labor at the height of the recession where she led outreach and marketing efforts to help the growing number of unemployed new Yorkers get unemployment benefits and jobs.
Prior to state service, Michelle spent nearly 20 years in various positions in television news including reporter, Executive Producer and Assistant News Director.