Jeri Thomson was sworn in as the 30th secretary of the Senate on July 12, 2001. A graduate of the University of Washington, Thomson began her career on Capitol Hill as a senior staff member to Senator John Tunney, then served as a special assistant to the Senate sergeant at arms and as the deputy director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Thomson became assistant secretary of the Senate in 1989, then returned to the Office of the Sergeant at Arms as the Democratic representative before her election as secretary. Her service as secretary coincided with dramatic events. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the anthrax attack on Senate offices in October of 2001 presented the secretary with unprecedented challenges. Thomson worked closely with Sergeant at Arms Alfonso Lenhardt to assure the security of senators and staff on and after September 11 and skillfully managed the massive decontamination and cleaning of Senate office buildings after the anthrax attack. Thomson also oversaw the implementation of continuity of operations plans for all secretary offices.
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