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Photos: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images (left) and Ann Berry's LinkedIn (right)

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.

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.).

Go deeper

Schumer, McConnell reach power-sharing agreement in 50-50 Senate

Photo: Olivier Douliery/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Wednesday that he and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had finalized a power-sharing agreement, breaking a stalemate after weeks of negotiations.

Why it matters: The agreement will allow Senate Democrats to take control of committees, which play a pivotal role in crafting legislation and holding hearings. The Senate will formally pass the organizing resolution later on Wednesday.

15 mins ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

47 mins ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.

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