Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski

Secretary Bellows announces hiring of Bautista as policy advisor

AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Shenna Bellows today announced the hiring of Deputy Secretary of State Joann Bautista, as policy advisor. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Deputy Secretary Bautista will be Maine’s first Latina Deputy Secretary of State. She will be sworn into service at a ceremony at Nash School on Wednesday at 1 p.m. with the returning deputy secretaries.

Bautista, of Portland, is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. Her experience includes a range of social justice work, including advocacy for children, those experiencing homelessness and immigrants.

“Joann has an outstanding record of service and a long-standing commitment to equity and inclusion,” said Secretary Bellows. “Her experience and legal background will be an incredible asset to us as we shape policy to advance democracy, strengthen privacy and be a more welcoming and inclusive agency.”

Bautista most recently worked as the advocacy director for Preble Street and special projects manager for the American Civil Liberties Union, both in Portland. She also served as a policy associate at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Washington, D.C., where she focused on issues impacting unaccompanied children and asylum seekers.

“I look forward to serving alongside the Secretary of State to bring about positive and equitable change for all Mainers,” said Bautista. “I am also honored and overjoyed to be the first woman of color in this role, and I hope to not be the last.”

The Secretary of State oversees three bureaus: the Maine State Archives, the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions (CEC), and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Bautista is joining the Secretary’s eight-person central office staff, located in the historic Nash School building on the Statehouse campus.