Louisiana Political
Hall of Fame


2023 Inductee
Suzanne Haik Terrell

Suzanne Haik Terrell

Suzanne Haik Terrell attended Newcomb College of Tulane University where she received her Bachelor of Arts. She operated a medical equipment business for several years. She then earned her Juris Doctor from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. During private law practice she focused on business litigation and administrative law. At this time she became active in the political arena volunteering to lobby on medical issues in the legislature. Living in New Orleans in 1993with her husband, Dr. W. Lee Terrell and their three children, Mrs. Terrell won a term on the New Orleans City Council. She won a second term with no opposition. During her tenure here, she helped establish “Teen Court”, a program for juvenile first offenders and was instrumental in creating a robust government access channel known as New Orleans Access Television. In 1999 Suzanne Terrell became the first Republican woman to be elected to statewide office in Louisiana. As the Commissioner of Elections, her hard work saw the Louisiana election system recognized as the Best Voter Registration System in the South and, indeed in the whole country. Terrell streamlined department operations and advocated for the merging of her office with the Secretary of State. She was successful in this endeavor, and when her term ended in 2004, the office of Commissioner of Elections was abolished in our state. Terrell was then appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Economic Development by President George W. Bush. This was during the aftermath of Katrina. She later became Senior Advisor and Director of Outreach for the Department of Commerce, EDA and served as the agency’s Capitol Hill liason. During her tenure here, she worked on efforts to revitalize the Gulf Coast. After this service, Terrell returned to New Orleans and launched the law firm of Hangartner, Rydberg and Terrell. She continues to practice law and serve her community through non-profit endeavors.

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