Speaker's Biography:

Debra Bowen
California Secretary of State

Debra Bowen is California's secretary of state. A pioneer in government transparency, election integrity and personal privacy rights, she is the sixth woman in California history elected to statewide constitutional office. As secretary of state, Bowen serves as chief elections officer and custodian of the state archives. She also manages many document filings for businesses, nonprofit organizations, political campaigns and lobbyists, among many key government services performed by an agency with fewer than 500 staff members. Before her election to secretary in 2006, Bowen served for 14 years in the California Legislature, where she was a leader on election-reform and energy issues, wrote landmark legislation to protect against identity theft and authored a law that put all the state's legislative information online - the first such initiative in the nation.