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UH Alum appointed as Texas Secretary of State

Rolando Pablos, an alum of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, was appointed as the 111th Texas Secretary of State by Gov. Greg Abbott in January. | Photo courtesy of Sam Taylor, Communications Director Texas Secretary of State

Early last month, a University of Houston alum was appointed the Texas secretary of state.

Rolando Pablos is not only a fellow University of Houston Cougar, but also plays a significant role in the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. According to the Houston Chronicle, he was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott as the 111th Texas secretary of state in early January.

“My time at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management was one of the most important and formative experiences of my career,” Pablos said. “It imbued me with the critical skills necessary to navigate the exciting and complex world of hospitality management and provided me with the real-world experience I needed to quickly succeed in the industry.”

As Texas secretary of state, Pablos will perform several responsibilities. According to the official Texas secretary of state website, he will be monitoring the Elections Division that administers voting laws in Texas, and maintaining the business and public filings in the state. He will also oversee certain matters concerning Texas-Mexico relations and serve as the state’s chief international protocol officer.

Pablos received his master’s in hospitality management and served on the dean’s advisory boards at the Hilton College. Additionally, Pablos holds a bachelors degree from St. Mary’s University, an MBA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a law degree from St. Mary’s School of Law, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“We are both proud and excited that Rolando Pablos, who not only earned his master’s in hospitality management at Hilton College but also serves on our advisory boards, is Texas’ new secretary of state,” said Dean Dennis Reynolds of the Hilton College. “Rolando was the driving force behind the creation of the San Antonio campus, and with his vast network of friends and colleagues, I know he will continue to do great things for the state of Texas in this important position.”

Apart from being one of the influences for the San Antonio campus, he also served as an adjunct lecturer of hospitality law, said Lisa Hernandez, the assistant dean of the Hilton College’s San Antonio campus.

“So what Rolando does, and what the University of Houston should be most proud of, is that he grabs pieces, the best pieces of all the things in his past to help him with his future involvements and his future vision,” Hernandez said. “For the University of Houston to be a part of that is an honor.”

Hernandez said that for an alum of his stature to be where he is today, in a prominent government position, empowers students at the Hilton College.

“We thank him for that,” Hernandez said. “He may not even know he’s doing it, but it empowers all of our students to reach for those highest levels of positions in the hospitality world and to keep working hard, and the hard work pays off.”

Pablos is taking a leave of absence from the dean’s advisory boards for his new position as secretary of state, Hernandez said, but he is still involved with the Hilton College. He is currently the co-chairmen of the spirit of Mexico classes, she said, which the San Antonio campus hopes to begin offering.

Pablos said he appreciates his colleagues at the University of Houston and the Hilton College for their hard work and support.

“I would like to recognize Dr. Khator and thank her for her excellent work to lift our University to even greater heights,” he said. “I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to Dean Reynolds at the Hilton College for his dedication to provide our students with the best hospitality education in the world.”

Pablos said that education really is the great equalizer, and that it provides limitless possibilities to those willing to take on its challenges.

“I am deeply grateful for the many opportunities my education has afforded me and will always be the strongest advocate for excellence in our higher education institutions,” he said. “When our students succeed, Texas succeeds, and I hope to do everything I can as secretary of state to encourage more Texans to empower themselves through education.”

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