Cheryl L. Johnson was sworn in as Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 117th Congress by Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 3, 2021. Ms. Johnson is the 36th individual to serve as Clerk and previously served during the 116th Congress.
Before becoming Clerk, Ms. Johnson worked for nearly 20 years in the House followed by 10 years at the Smithsonian Institution. Most recently, Ms. Johnson served as Director of the Smithsonian’s Office of Government Relations. In that role, she worked with Smithsonian leadership and the Board of Regents to build and maintain strong relationships with Congress, specifically with the congressional committees with jurisdiction over Smithsonian programs and appropriations. She also developed strategic legislative objectives, policies, and funding opportunities for the Smithsonian.
In her time on Capitol Hill, Ms. Johnson was the Chief Education and Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where she served as a principal policy advisor and spokesperson for the Committee. Ms. Johnson also served as Director and Counsel for the Committee on House Administration’s Subcommittee on Libraries and Memorials. In this capacity, she worked with the Subcommittee chair to exercise oversight and legislative responsibility over the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.
Ms. Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa and her law degree from Howard University. She is also a graduate of the senior management program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Born in New Orleans, she lives with her husband in Chevy Chase, Maryland.