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Pelosi Picks New Clerk and CAO

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has tapped Lorraine Miller to serve as the Clerk of the House for the 110th Congress and is expected to announce today that Dan Beard will serve as the new Chief Administrative Officer.

Miller will succeed Karen Haas, who was appointed by then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), while Beard will replace Jay Eagen, who has served in his post since 1997. Pelosi had asked both Haas and Eagen to stay on until permanent replacements were found.

Miller has more than 20 years of Capitol Hill experience, including tenures in the offices of Pelosi and former Speakers Jim Wright (D-Texas) and Tom Foley (D-Wash.), as well as Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). She also worked in the legislative affairs shop at the White House under then-President Bill Clinton and has served stints at both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Miller has been president of the Washington, D.C., National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter since 2004, and she will be the first black person to hold the office of Clerk.

“Lorraine Miller has dedicated her career to the noble calling of public service, with her vast experience in both the House of Representatives and White House preparing her for this vital role,” Pelosi said in a statement.

According to a Democratic leadership aide, Beard, who most recently served as a senior adviser for the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., will replace Eagen sometime in February.

According to a biography on the Web site of the Bureau of Reclamation, where Beard served as a commissioner in the mid-1990s, he is a native of Washington state who worked for then-Rep. Sidney Yates (D-Ill.) on the House Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior and related agencies in the mid-1970s. He served as deputy assistant secretary of the Interior for land and water resources from 1977 to 1980 and acted as staff director of House Interior subcommittee on water and power from 1985 to 1990.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich.), ranking member of the House Administration Committee, which oversees the Clerk and CAO offices, said Tuesday night that Republicans were still trying to learn more about Miller and Beard before commenting on their appointments. But she did say that Ehlers was disappointed by “the lack of process” by which the selection of the CAO was made.

“Last time we went through a search process where we used an outside search firm to ensure we got the best possible candidates for the CAO. That didn’t happen this time,” she said.

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