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Secretary of State Shemia Fagan

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan
Secretary of State Shemia Fagan

Biographical

Pronunciation: shuh-MEE-uh (rhymes with “Maria”) FAY-gen (rhymes with “Megan”) 

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is mom to two young children and a proud lifelong Oregonian. Secretary Fagan was raised by her dad and two older brothers in small towns in Wasco county. Secretary Fagan has always been open with Oregonians about the challenges her family overcame—Fagan’s dad struggled as a single parent and her mom battled addiction and homelessness during Fagan's childhood. But Secretary Fagan was encouraged by loving members of her community and the dedicated educators who would not give up on her.

After graduating from The Dalles High School in 1999, Fagan earned a scholarship to play soccer for Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho where she earned her B.A. in Philosophy and Religion. Following college, Fagan worked to save money before attending law school at Willamette University College of Law and earning her J.D. at Lewis and Clark Law School. While working as an attorney at Ater Wynne LLP and later at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP, Fagan received training on campaigning for public office from the Emerge Oregon program. Fagan first entered public service in 2011 when she was elected to the David Douglas School Board. Later, Secretary Fagan served in the Oregon House and Senate before she was elected Oregon’s 28th secretary of state in 2020. Secretary Fagan is a strong defender of the nation' s most successful vote by mail system and committed to building on Oregon’s tradition of secure and accessible elections.

Secretary of State's Duties


Shemia Fagan; Clackamas; Democrat; elected 2020; term expires January 2025; Oregon’s 28th secretary of state.

The secretary of state is one of three constitutional officers of the executive branch elected statewide. The secretary is elected to a four-year term and is limited to two consecutive terms in office during any 12-year period.

The secretary of state is one of three constitutional offices established at statehood and is the auditor of public accounts, chief elections officer, public records administrator and custodian of the State Seal. As an independent constitutional officer, the secretary of state answers directly and solely to the people of Oregon.

The secretary interprets and applies state election laws, compiles and publishes the Voters’ Pamphlet and supervises all elections, local and statewide.

She examines and audits accounts of all publicly funded boards, commissions and agencies.

She keeps public records of businesses authorized to transact business in Oregon, nonprofit corporations and trade and service marks. Other public business records include notices of security interests in movable and personal property, statutory liens and warrants.

As the public records administrator, the secretary houses and provides access to the permanently valuable records of state government through the Archives Division and manages all public records for retention and disposition.

The secretary shares responsibility with the governor and treasurer for supervising and managing state-owned lands and chairs the Oregon Sustainability Board which works to optimize organizations’ financial, environmental and social performance. She also regulates Oregon notaries public and publishes the Oregon Blue Book.

Oregon does not have a lieutenant governor. If the office of governor becomes vacant, the office passes to the secretary of state.

Legal Authority: Oregon Constitution, Article VI, Section 2; ORS Chapters 177, 240