Long-time Senate Aide Will Be First African American To Serve In Position, Which Was Created in 1789
Washington, D.C. – Today, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced long-time Senate aide Sonceria “Ann” Berry will serve as the 35th Secretary of the Senate, effective March 1, 2021. Berry most recently served as Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) Deputy Chief of Staff and has worked in the Senate for over four decades including with Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), former Senator John Edwards (D-NC), former Senator Pat Moynihan (D-NY), and former Senator Howell Heflin (D-AL).
Berry will be the first African American and eighth woman to serve in the position, which was created in 1789. As a mentor to nearly every Senate Administrative Director, Berry was chosen to set up former Senator Doug Jones’s (D-AL) office after the Alabama special election in 2017. Berry is from Birmingham, Alabama and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of North Alabama.
“I am ecstatic about the historic nomination of Ann Berry to be the new Secretary of the Senate,” said Leader Schumer. “This is a vital role that not only oversees 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.”
“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.”
Background on the Secretary of the Senate:
As an elected officer of the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate supervises an extensive array of offices and services to expedite the day-to-day operations of the United States Senate. The first Secretary was chosen on April 8, 1789, two days after the Senate achieved its first quorum for business. From the start, the Secretary was responsible for keeping the minutes and records of the Senate and for purchasing supplies. As the Senate grew to become a major national institution, numerous other duties were assigned to the Secretary, whose jurisdiction came to encompass clerks, curators, and computers; the disbursement of payrolls; the acquisition of stationery supplies; the education of the Senate pages; and the maintenance of public records. The responsibilities of the Secretary include legislative, financial and administrative functions.
Read more about the Secretary of the Senate here: https://www.senate.gov/reference/office/secretary_of_senate.htm