Hon. Beth Chapman was elected Alabama’s 51st Secretary of State in 2006 after having first been elected and serving four years as State Auditor and running a successful public relations and political consulting firm in Birmingham. Prior to politics, she spent 10 years as Director of Special Events, then State Executive Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
At the time of her election as Secretary of State, she received more votes than any Constitutional Officer in state history.
Chapman received her B.S. Degree from the University of Montevallo in Communications and her Master’s Degree (Magna Cum Laude) in Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
She completed the Executives in State Government Management Institute at Princeton University and completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Chapman was the first woman in Alabama to serve as a Cabinet Member in the capacity of Appointments Secretary for a Governor and later as Press Secretary for a Lieutenant Governor.
Upon being elected State Auditor in 2002, Chapman was responsible for $1.6 billion in property assets. Under her leadership, the State Auditor’s office produced a record-breaking 96 percent perfect audit rate among state agencies, holding them to the highest level of accountability.
As Secretary of State, Chapman streamlined the Business Services Division of her office bringing it into the 21st Century with electronic online business filings. Chapman created the Secretary of State’s first Voter Fraud Task Force. She championed the fight against voter fraud and was highlighted on Fox News. She is known as a national leader in the valiant effort to develop legislation for electronic military voting to better serve members of our military who serve abroad.
Chapman was elected by her peers across the nation to serve as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in 2012. She also served on The Pew Charitable Trust’s Alliance for Military and Overseas Voting Rights. Secretary Chapman travelled twice to Taiwan as a NASS Delegate and to Munich, Germany as a special guest of the Overseas Vote Foundation’s International Summit. She also represented Alabama in Israel. She has been called as an expert witness to testify before Congress regarding the need and potential solutions to the voting problems faced by our military members serving overseas.
Chapman has received numerous military commendations for her advancement of the patriotic spirit in America: The Seven Seals Award by the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) and two appointments by Alabama’s Governor and Adjutant General to participate with Alabama Senators and House Members in the Partnership for Peace Program where she represented Alabama in Romania, Belgium and Germany. Secretary Chapman was honored by the United States Selective Service Board, received an award of support from the Alabama National Guard and was chosen to represent Alabama at the National Security Forum at the renowned Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base.
Secretary Chapman has been appointed by four different Governors to serve on state boards and commissions. She served as a member of the Governor’s Committee on Accountability and was elected unanimously as a member of Alabama’s Electoral College in 2004. She has received numerous personal and professional honors and awards including two congressional appointments to the Women’s Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Montevallo and was chosen as an Internationally Distinguished Citizen by Alpha Gamma Delta Fraternity. She was also selected to the nationally prestigious Toll Fellows program and is a member of ODK Leadership Fraternity. She has been honored by the Southern Women in Leadership Program sponsored by the Stennis Center for Public Service.
Chapman presently, or has served in the past, as a board member for the following:
The University of Montevallo Board of Trustees, the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Engage Cuba State Council and as Chairman of the St. Vincent’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. She also served as State Chairman for former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s “iCivics” national student education program.
She has worked with the Developing Alabama Youth Program, Family Connections, Shelby County Child Advocacy Center, Support our Soldiers organization and has served on the boards of the Shelby County Family Resource Center, Shelby County Arts Council, Project American Life, the Children’s Policy Council, the Crisis Center, Community Grief Support Services, the Court Appointed Special Advocates, Lifeline Adoption Ministries, Summerspell Homeowners Association and Turning Point Foundation. She has been named a Champion for Youth by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. In 2011, she was named Citizen of the Year by the Shelby County Reporter where she was also a featured columnist for more than a decade.
Chapman has written seven books. One received the George Washington Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge and another was an Amazon Best Seller.
In 2011, Chapman’s husband, James, passed away at the age of 50. Two years later she retired (in 2013) after 11 years in elective office to expand Beth Chapman & Associates, LLC, a political and public relations consulting firm which she started with her husband in 1996.
Chapman’s company now represents various corporations, associations and organizations.
Chapman has two adult sons and one grandson. She resides in Hoover and maintains a business residence in Montgomery.