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Speaker-Designate Pelosi Names Cheryl Johnson New Clerk of the House of Representatives

On Friday, December 28, Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that Cheryl Johnson would return to Congress to serve as the new Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Currently the Director of Government Relations for the Smithsonian Institution, Johnson spent nearly 20 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Clerk of the House is one of the most important positions in the chamber, and Johnson’s appointment to this position is significant for many. The move helps change the face of congressional staff and continues the momentum the Joint Center has seen as Members of the 116th Congress appoint and hire senior staff of color in personal offices at a significantly higher rate than predecessors in the 115th Congress.

More information on the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House can be found here.

Speaker-designate Pelosi’s full press release is below.

Pelosi Names Cheryl Johnson New Clerk of the House of Representatives
San Francisco – Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi today announced that she will appoint Cheryl Johnson as the new Clerk of the House of Representatives.  Johnson, who currently serves as Director of Government Relations for the Smithsonian Institution, worked for nearly two decades in the House of Representatives.

Johnson’s service to the U.S. House of Representatives includes her ten years as the chief education and investigative counsel for the Committee on Education and the Workforce, where she advanced justice and fairness in elementary and secondary education, juvenile justice, child nutrition, labor issues and older Americans’ employment and nutrition programs.  Previously, she served 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.

At the Smithsonian, Johnson promotes and strengthens the Smithsonian’s relationship with Congress, the Executive Branch and federal, state and local governments.  Previously, she served as chief of staff to the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, providing strategic counsel to the museum’s leadership and staff on a broad range of initiatives.  Prior to that role, she served as senior government relations associate in the Office of Government Relations at the Smithsonian.

“Cheryl Johnson embodies commitment to public service,” said Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi.  “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’s vast experience, strong leadership and management skills and deep dedication to this body will be vital in ensuring that, as Clerk, the House has the support and tools to carry out our legislative responsibilities to the American people.”

“I am honored to return to this trusted institution,” Ms. Johnson said.  “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.”

A native of New Orleans, Johnson lives in Maryland, and holds a Juris Doctorate from the Howard University School of Law.  She is a member of the District of Columbia and Louisiana Bars, the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church Board of Trustees and the Faith and Politics Institute.

Johnson will replace the current Clerk, Karen Haas, who has served with great dedication and distinction for the past eight years, and in her previous roles under past Speakers and Leaders of the House.