Emily Reynolds began her career in public service as a special assistant to Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker, Jr., from 1980 to 1984. A graduate of Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, Reynolds worked on seven election campaigns in six states, including the Senate campaigns of John Danforth, John Heinz, and Kay Bailey Hutchison. In 1992 she joined George H. W. Bush’s presidential campaign as deputy director of national coalitions. Reynolds returned to her home state of Tennessee in 1993 to serve as deputy campaign manager and finance director for Dr. Bill Frist’s successful Senate campaign, after which she became his state director and then chief of staff. Majority Leader Frist recommended her as secretary of the Senate and she was elected in 2003. Security concerns remained paramount during Reynolds’ tenure, and she was a guiding force in establishing alternative emergency working space for senators and staff. These efforts proved critical in 2004 when Senate office buildings were again temporarily closed following a ricin attack. Reynolds also worked closely with Senate leadership and the United States Capitol Preservation Commission to plan for historical and curatorial exhibits and films for the Capitol Visitor Center, which opened in 2008.
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