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Officers & Staff

John Adams by Eliphalet Frazer Andrews

Vice President of the United States (President of the Senate)

According to the United States Constitution, "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided." Other than being prepared to succeed to the presidency if needed, the vice president's only constitutional role is to preside over the Senate.

John Langdon

President Pro Tempore

The U.S. Constitution provides for a president pro tempore to preside over the Senate in the absence of the vice president. The president pro tem is third in the line of presidential succession, behind the vice president and the Speaker of the House. By tradition, this position goes to the senior member of the majority party.  

Frank Valeo

Party Secretaries

Both major parties elect a party secretary, a secretary for the majority and a secretary for the minority. Seated on either side of the Senate Chamber, the party secretaries see that pages are at their posts and cloakrooms are staffed. They schedule legislation on the floor and inform senators of all pending business, keeping them updated on bills, motions, nominations, and amendments in preparation for roll call votes.

Image of Samuel Otis of Massachusetts

Secretary of the Senate

An elected officer, the secretary of the Senate supervises an extensive array of offices and services to expedite the day-to-day operations of the United States Senate. The secretary's responsibilities include both legislative and administrative functions, with a jurisdiction that includes clerks, curators, and computers; disbursement of payrolls; acquisition of stationery supplies; education of the Senate pages; and the maintenance of public records.

John Robert French

Sergeant At Arms

The sergeant at arms and doorkeeper, elected by the members of the Senate, serves as the protocol and chief law enforcement officer of the Senate and is the principle administrative manager for most support services. Established in 1789, the Office of Doorkeeper became "Sergeant-at-Arms and Doorkeeper" in 1798.

Image of Samuel Provoost, First Senate Chaplain

Senate Chaplain

The Senate elected its first chaplain on April 25, 1789, continuing a tradition established by the Continental Congress.  In addition to opening each day's session with a prayer, the chaplain's duties include spiritual care and counseling for senators, their families, and their staffs.


Senate Historical Office

Historical information provided by the Senate Historical Office.

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

The Directory provides information about former and current senators.


Historical Photographs

The Senate Historical Office maintains a collection of approximately 30,000 still pictures, slides, and negatives, including photographs and illustrations of most former senators, news photographs, editorial cartoons, photographs of committees in session, and other images documenting Senate history.

Historical Statistics

Explore Senate history through historical tables and statistics.