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Jo Anne B. Barnhart Takes Charge At Social Security

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Wednesday November 14, 2001

Tom Tobin, Acting Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

Social Security Online


News Release


Jo Anne B. Barnhart was sworn in today as the Commissioner of Social Security in a ceremony at the agency’s national headquarters in Baltimore.

The Commissioner expressed her pride at being chosen to serve as Commissioner of Social Security. "I truly believe that public service is a worthy and noble endeavor, and I thank every federal employee for deciding to make a career in government," said Commissioner Barnhart. "I am proud to head an agency blessed with so many dedicated and caring employees."

Barnhart was sworn in by Larry G. Massanari, Regional Commissioner, Philadelphia. Massanari served as Acting Commissioner of Social Security since March. "She is a new leader, for a new century, where new challenges face the nation’s Social Security program," said Massanari. "The SSA is very fortunate that President Bush has chosen such a talented and accomplished leader to serve as Commissioner of Social Security."

Barnhart is the 14th Commissioner of Social Security. Her term will expire on January 19, 2007.

Barnhart is a former SSA employee. She worked in the Office of Family Assistance from 1981 – 1986, first as Deputy Associate Commissioner and then as Associate Commissioner. She left to become minority staff director for the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.

Most recently, she has served as a member of the Social Security Advisory Board, an independent body created to advise the Congress on Social Security issues and policies. Barnhart served as a member of the Board for more than four years.

She will be responsible for administering the Social Security retirement, disability and survivors insurance programs that pay $408 billion annually in benefits to more than 45 million beneficiaries, as well as the Supplemental Security Income program that provides cash assistance to almost 7 million people with limited income and assets. The agency has a national workforce of about 65,000 employees and 1,500 field installations.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Barnhart is graduate of the University of Delaware. She lives in Virgina with her husband and son.

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NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: On Friday, November 9, Jo Anne B. Barnhart was sworn in as Commissioner of Social Security. A formal swearing in ceremony was held on November 14th at the Social Security Administration's national headquarters in Baltimore.

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