February 20, 2007
'Milestone of Achievement' on the Hill

Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post - February 20, 2007

At 6 feet 2 inches tall, Lorraine C. Miller cuts a striking figure in the polished hallways of the U.S. Capitol. Last week, the woman with regal bearing gained another, more lasting distinction. She was sworn in as clerk of the House of Representatives, the first African American to hold the seat since it was created in 1789.

"This is another milestone of achievement, not just of black people but of all people," said Thomas Tyler, who directs the senior choir at the Shiloh Baptist Church in the District, where Miller sings first alto.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tapped Miller for the job, citing her work ethic, knowledge of the Hill and ability to make connections across party lines, in addition to her trailblazer status.

"I was the first woman, and I had a responsibility to do other firsts," Pelosi said at a recent reception honoring Miller. "I've done a lot of things since I became speaker, but none have given me more pride and been more thrilling to me than to swear in Lorraine Miller."

Read Speaker Pelosi's announcement at the time:

"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. With the management and leadership skills she has gained at the highest levels of government, Miller will ensure, as Clerk, that the House has the support necessary to effectively carry out our legislative responsibilities," Pelosi said. "Diversity has long been one of the greatest strengths of our nation, and as the first African American official of the House, Lorraine will bring that strength to the Office of the Clerk."