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All-female sergeant-at-arms leadership team led by Purdue graduate

Karen Gibson is now the U.S. Senate's sergeant-at-arms
Posted at 12:22 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 12:22:40-04

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Karen Gibson is now the U.S. Senate's sergeant-at-arms who — for the first time in American history — will lead an all-women leadership team.

Gibson was sworn in as the new protocol and chief law enforcement officer (also known as the "Doorkeeper") for the upper chamber on Monday. The retired Army lieutenant general replaces Michael Stenger, who resigned following the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump supporters.

During her 33-year military career, Gibson has led intelligence-operations centers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, East Africa, and America.

The seasoned combat veteran has also served as deputy director of National Intelligence for National Security Partnerships; as director of intelligence for the United States Central Command; director of intelligence for Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, the multinational coalition to defeat ISIS; and deputy commanding general for U.S. Army Cyber Command.

Gibson is a 1986 Purdue University graduate, where she earned her bachelor's in Industrial Engineering. The Montana native then went on to receive her master's in National Security Strategy from the National War College, and a master's in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University.

As the sergeant-at-arms, according to the Senate, Gibson "is charged with maintaining security in the Capitol and all Senate buildings, as well as protection of the members themselves."

The chief law enforcement officer is also in charge of several other matters, including, computers and technology support services, escorting the president and other heads of state or official guests of the Senate in the Capitol, and has custody of the Senate gavel.

Gibson is joined by Kelly Fado, who will serve as deputy sergeant-at-arms, and Jennifer Hemmingway, who will serve as chief of staff.

The first and only other female senate sergeant-at-arms was Martha Pope, who served from 1991 to 1994.