Senate names first Black secretary of the Senate

Senate names first Black secretary of the Senate
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe first Southern state legalizes marijuana — what it means nationally H.R. 1/S. 1: Democrats defend their majorities, not honest elections McCarthy asks FBI, CIA for briefing after two men on terror watchlist stopped at border MORE (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday named Sonceria “Ann” Berry secretary of the Senate, the first African American woman to hold the position.

Berry, who will take office March 1, most recently served as deputy chief of staff to Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Dakota Access pipeline to remain in operation despite calls for shutdown | Biden hopes to boost climate spending by B | White House budget proposes .4B for environmental justice Biden .5T budget proposes major hike in social programs Biden hopes to boost climate spending by billion MORE (D-Vt.). She has also worked in the offices of Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperFive reasons why US faces chronic crisis at border Appeals court agrees to pause lawsuit over Trump-era emissions rule Five things to watch on Biden infrastructure plan MORE (D-Del.) and former Sens. John Edwards (D-N.C.), Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) and Howell Heflin (D-Ala.). She is the eighth woman to have the role.

An Alabama native, she was also tasked with setting up former Sen. Doug Jones’s (D-Ala.) office after his 2017 special election victory.


“I have had the privilege of working in the U.S. Senate for 40 years serving the American people,” said Berry. “I am humbled by this opportunity to continue that service as Secretary of the Senate.  It will be an honor to work with Senators and staff on behalf of the country to advance our common goal of representing this great nation.”

“I am ecstatic about the historic nomination of Ann Berry to be the new Secretary of the Senate,” said Schumer. “This is a vital role that not only overseas key personnel, but also aids in the institution’s overall effectiveness. I am confident that Ann’s professional experience in both Senator Leahy and Senator Jones’s offices will ensure a successful tenure as she continues to serve the institution of the Senate.”

The secretary of the Senate, a position dating back to 1789, is responsible for various supervisory functions in the chamber, ranging from payroll oversight to Senate page training and public record maintenance. Berry will replace outgoing Secretary of the Senate Julie Adams, who was named by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE (R-Ky.) in 2015.