Sonceria “Ann” Berry was sworn in as the Senate’s new secretary Monday afternoon, becoming the first Black American and eighth woman to hold the appointed position.
A veteran Senate aide, Berry most recently served as deputy chief of staff for Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who swore her in for her new role.
“We begin this week on a joyful note welcoming an upstanding individual to serve as the new Secretary of the Senate,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said following Berry’s swearing in. Schumer named her to the position in February.
Schumer added that Berry’s elevation to the position was a “testament to her outstanding career as a public servant of the highest caliber over her 40 years in Washington.”
The Secretary of the Senate has existed since 1789, when Congress was still in its infancy. Per the Senate website, the upper chamber’s secretary is responsible for a wide array of “legislative, financial and administrative functions” in support of the legislative body’s “day-to-day operations.”