(HOUSTON) December 19, 2013 – Locke Lord LLP is proud to announce that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has appointed attorney Nandita Berry 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.”

Berry joined Locke Lord in 2005. As an attorney at Locke Lord (a position she will resign) Berry has represented clients in a wide variety of corporate and technology transactions. Her clients are in diverse industries and range from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups.

“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.”

“This is great news for Nandy and for the citizens of Texas,” said Ken Simon, Managing Partner of Locke Lord’s Houston office. “Nandy is skilled, experienced and a natural leader. Her colleagues and clients at Locke Lord will greatly miss her – but we know she will be a dedicated and respected Secretary of State and she will do an outstanding job representing the State of Texas. We couldn’t be more proud.”

Berry is a former member of the University of Houston System (UHS) Board of Regents, a position Perry appointed her to in 2009. She also served as Vice Chair of the UHS Board.

Berry is active in the Houston community and has been on the boards of the Houston Zoo, the Houston Area Women’s Center, the South Asian Chamber of Commerce and The Community Family Center. During the past two fiscal years, she chaired the University of Houston System Board’s Audit and Compliance Committee. She has been a member of the Finance and Administration Committee and the Academic and Student Success Committee.

She and her husband, Michael Berry, have two children.

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