Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Announcement Of The New Senate Sergeant At Arms Leadership Team With Karen Gibson As SAA, Kelly Fado As Deputy SAA And Jennifer Hemingway As Chief Of Staff

March 3, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the announcement of the new Sergeant at Arms leadership team which will be comprised entirely of women for the first time in Senate history.  Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

I begin this morning with a very exciting announcement about critical leadership roles in the Senate chamber. Three outstanding individuals are set to assume new responsibilities: Lieutenant General Karen Gibson will serve as the next Senate Sergeant at Arms, while Kelly Fado will serve as Deputy Sergeant at Arms and Jennifer Hemingway will serve as Chief of Staff.

The Senate Sergeant at Arms was established 223 years ago as an outgrowth of the office of Senate Doorkeeper, back when one of the biggest problems was making sure the Senate had a quorum. Today, the Sergeant at Arms is the Senate’s chief administrative officer and chief law enforcement officer, so very important at this time. These offices have the enormous responsibility of keeping the trains running on time, while at the same time keeping everyone in the Capitol safe. As we’ve seen in recent weeks, the security component of the role is immensely important.

And Lieutenant General Karen Gibson is the perfect person for the job, the job of Sergeant At Arms.

She has spent 33 years in active duty in the military, much of it in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as a senior intelligence officer, where she supported U.S. national security objectives in Iraq, Afghanistan, East Africa, the Pacific and across the Middle East.

She is ready to hit the ground running because, since January 6th, she has been part of a weeks-long review effort to identify actions that can be taken immediately—immediately—to improve the security of the Capitol and its members. She is 100% committed to ensuring a safe and secure working environment for Senators, visitors, Capitol employees, and Senate staff, press, and paying attention—particular attention—to staffers of color.

Lieutenant General Gibson has a big job ahead of her. But I have every confidence she will perform her duties at the same, exemplary standard she set over the course of her heralded three-decade military career. 

Kelly Fado and Jennifer Hemingway, meanwhile, are two of the most recognizable faces in the Capitol—Jennifer having recently filled in as the Acting Sergeant at Arms.

And Kelly has been part of my team for many years, on the Rules Committee and in my leadership office. She has helped plan, coordinate, safeguard, and execute multiple presidential inaugurations—and what a great job she had done in every one of them—and Capitol-wide ceremonies in general. She has been an indispensable resource to me and my entire staff.

So I’m very glad that Kelly is taking on this challenge.

And one other note that I’m very proud of—I think we all, as Senators, can be proud of—this will be the first time in the Senate’s history that the Sergeant at Arms leadership will be comprised entirely of women. And I cannot think of a team better prepared than Lieutenant General Karen Gibson, Kelly Fado, and Jennifer Hemingway.

To all three of them: congratulations on your new roles, and thank you for your many years of service to the Senate and to our country.

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