Pelosi Appoints Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben First Woman to Serve as Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives

December 31, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi today announced her appointment of Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben as House Chaplain, following the House retirement of Father Pat Conroy.  Kibben will be the first woman to serve as Chaplain in either chamber of Congress.

“It is my honor to announce the appointment of Rear Admiral Margaret Grun Kibben to serve as Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives: the first woman to serve in this historic position, which has been enshrined in our Democracy since the First Congress in 1789,” said Speaker Pelosi.  “Kibben brings decades of decorated experience in the military and the ministry, as a retired Rear Admiral who served as the U.S. Navy’s Chief Chaplain and the chaplain of the Marine Corps.  Her integrity, experience and patriotism will serve the Congress and the Country well, as she ministers to the needs of Members.  This historic appointment was made possible by the values-based leadership of Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, and I thank him and all Members of the bipartisan group leading the search – Representatives Eshoo, Price, Connolly, Moolenaar, Luetkemeyer, McMorris Rodgers and Stauber – for their successful work.  Their recommendation was accepted by Leader McCarthy and me.”

“The service of Father Pat Conroy has been a blessing to Members on both sides of the aisle,” continued Speaker Pelosi.  “Throughout his service, Father Pat fulfilled the calling of St. Ignatius of Loyola: ‘for the greater glory of God.’  His service has been a spiritual and moral anchor for Members, grounding our institution in the values of faith and country and reminding our Members of our responsibilities to our great nation and constituents.  All Members wish Father Pat well as he enjoys his well-deserved retirement from the House.”

Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben entered active duty in 1986 through the Navy’s Theological Student Program.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Goucher College, a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.  In her final active duty assignment in the Navy, Kibben was the U.S. Navy’s 26th Chief Chaplains.  Prior to this assignment, Kibben served as the 18th Chaplain of the Marine Corps.  Kibben served as the senior chaplain in Afghanistan.  Her  Navy assignments include the U.S. Naval Academy, the Chaplain Corps Resource Board, command chaplain aboard USS San Diego (AFS 6) and Fleet Chaplain, U. S. 3rd Fleet.  With the U.S. Marine Corps, Kibben served as chaplain for Headquarters and Service Battalion, Security Battalion, the Brig, Marine Corps Air Facility and HMX-1, Marine Corps Base Quantico and 2nd Force Service Support Group, Camp Lejeune.  Kibben’s personal awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards) and Navy Commendation Medal (three awards).