Ann Berry, Alabama native, named first Black secretary of the Senate
Senate leadership has named Alabama native Sonceria “Ann” Berry secretary of the U.S. Senate, effective March 1. The announcement was made via a press release on the Senate Democrats newsroom.
Berry, who hails from Birmingham, will be the first Black woman and the eighth woman to hold this office, which ensures the institution’s overall effectiveness. She will replace outgoing Secretary of the Senate Julie Adams, who was named by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2015.
Berry is a graduate of the former Phillips High School in Birmingham and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of North Alabama.
Most recently, Berry served as Sen. Patrick Leahy’s deputy chief of staff and has worked in the Senate for over four decades, including time with Sen. Tom Carper and former Sens. John Edwards, Pat Moynihan and Howell Heflin.
In 2017, Berry led former Sen. Doug Jones’ transition team after his special election victory over former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. In her new role, Berry will supervise an array of offices and services to expedite the day-to-day operations of the Senate, including legislative, financial and administrative functions.
According to senate.gov, the first secretary of the Senate was chosen in 1789 and 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, including the disbursement of payrolls, the acquisition of stationery supplies, the education of the Senate pages and the maintenance of public records.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)