Sonceria "Ann" Berry becomes first Black secretary of Senate

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Shawna Chen
·1 min read
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Sonceria "Ann" Berry has been appointed secretary of the Senate and will take office March 1, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Berry is the first Black person and eighth woman to serve in the role since it was created in 1789.

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Background: Berry has worked in the Senate for more than 40 years.

  • Her most recent post was as deputy chief of staff to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). She also worked for Democratic Sens. Thomas Carper (Del.), John Edwards (N.C.), Daniel Patrick Moynihan (N.Y.) and Howell Heflin (Ala.).

What they're saying: "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," Berry said.

  • Schumer said he is "ecstatic about the historic nomination," per a statement.

The big picture: The secretary of the Senate helps to ensure daily operations run smoothly. Responsibilities include maintaining Senate records, overseeing payroll distribution and helping to acquire necessary supplies.

  • Berry replaces outgoing Julie Adams, who worked under Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

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