Pelosi Names Cheryl Johnson to Be House Clerk

Karen Haas to leave position for second time

Nancy Pelosi has named Cheryl Johnson as her choice for the next Clerk of the House of Representatives. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new clerk will call the roll in the next Congress.

Nancy Pelosi has named Cheryl Johnson as her choice for the next Clerk of the House of Representatives, replacing Karen L. Haas.

The clerk serves as the chief legislative official in the House, a roll dating back to the very first congress. The position is elected every two years, as the House convenes for a new Congress. The majority and minority caucuses typically nominate candidates for House officer positions, including the clerk, after the election of the House speaker. The House will adopt a resolution to elect the officers, who will serve after taking their oath of office. Johnson will be the 35th individual to serve as House clerk.

“Cheryl Johnson embodies commitment to public service,” said Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi in a statement Friday. “She has dedicated her career to defending and strengthening many of the most important and cherished institutions of our democracy, and we are thrilled that she will be returning to the House of Representatives, where she served with distinction and honor for many years."

Johnson is currently serving as director of government relations for the Smithsonian Institution but previously worked in the House for nearly twenty years. She spent ten years as the chief education and investigative counsel for the Committee on Education and the Workforce and as staff director and counsel for the Committee on House Administration’s Subcommittee on Libraries and Memorials and then Subcommittee on the Post Office and Civil Service.

“I am honored to return to this trusted institution,” Johnson said in a statement. “To be appointed by Speaker-designate Pelosi is powerful and inspiring. I look forward to serving in this new role and am committed to a fair and effective legislative process.”

Johnson will replace the current clerk, in the new year.

Haas served as clerk twice, first in between 2005 and 2007 under Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and most recently under John Boehner and Paul D. Ryan. Her career on Capitol Hill began in 1984, working for then-Minority Leader Robert H. Michel. She served as floor assistant to Hastert, coordinating activity on the House floor. She’s also served as the executive director of the House GOP conference.

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