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WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday appointed Julia A. Pierson as director of the Secret Service, making her the first woman to lead the scandal-hit agency which is best known for protecting the president, vice president and their families.
Obama said Pierson, a native of Florida, has “consistently exemplified” the spirit and dedication of the service’s agents during her more than 30 years of experience with the Secret Service. She is currently Chief of Staff and previously served as Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Protective Operations and the Assistant Director of Human Resources and Training.
“Julia is eminently qualified to lead the agency that not only safeguards Americans at major events and secures our financial system, but also protects our leaders and our first families, including my own,” the president said. “Julia has had an exemplary career, and I know these experiences will guide her as she takes on this new challenge to lead the impressive men and women of this important agency.”
Pierson has always been a hard worker. One of her first accomplishment was to graduate from a master degree in criminal justice, which opened the door to her career in the federal government. In 1980, she began her career as a police officer in Orlando. Few years later, she was promoted and joined the Secret Service as a Special Agent in Miami in 1983. Her first leadership role started in 2000 when she became a Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Protective Operations until the following year. Then she was appointed Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Administration and served in that position until 2005.
In 2005, Pierson was appointed Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Protective Operations until she became the Assistant Director of the Office of Human Resources and Training in 2006. In 2008 she was promoted to become Chief of Staff in the Office of the Director and continued to serve in that role until Tuesday’s announcement.
Her career is any example for all law enforcement agents, men and women, a perfect example of courage, determination and ambition, qualities needed to fill the position of Head of Secret Services. If you wish to follow her footsteps, know that it is never too late to start an online program to get your Master Degree in Criminal Justice and work for the federal law enforcement agency.
On February 1, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan announced he would retire after leading the agency and its 3,200 agents for more than seven years. His last year was marked by a scandal after Secret Service agents were caught employing prostitutes in Colombia before Obama arrived for a visit.
“During the Colombia prostitution scandal, the Secret Service lost the trust of many Americans, and failed to live up to the high expectations placed on it,” U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said Tuesday. “Ms. Pierson has a lot of work ahead of her to create a culture that respects the important job the agency is tasked with. I hope she succeeds in restoring lost credibility in the Secret Service.”
Obama’s appointment does not require Senate confirmation.