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Alabama Native Named First Black Secretary of the Senate

Sonceria Berry, an Alabama native who has been named the first Black Secretary of the Senate. (Provided Photo)
BY Zack Budryk
The Hill 

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (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 Leahy (D-Vt.). She has also worked in the offices of Sen. Tom Carper (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 McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2015.