Obama appoints first female director of U.S. Secret Service

   Mar 27, 9:23 am

Washington, March 27 (Xinhua-ANI): U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday appointed U.S. Secret Service official Julia Pierson to be the agency's first female director.

Pierson, currently serves as the Chief of Staff of the agency, will succeed Mark Sullivan who retired in February.

In a statement released by the White House, Obama applauded Pierson's over 30 years of experience with the Secret Service.

"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. 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."

The agency, under the Department of Homeland Security, is charged with the task of protecting the country's political leaders, including the president, and probe of financial crimes.

Sullivan has served with the Secret Service for almost three decades and has been the agency's head since 2006. Yet his tenure was marred by a prostitution scandal involving Secret Service agents during a presidential trip to Colombia last year. Six agents were dismissed or reassigned after the incident.

Obama's selection of Pierson also follows some criticism for not making his second-term cabinet more diverse with women and minorities. The president has since appointed a number of women and minorities into his administration, including Sally Jewell to lead the Department of Interior and Thomas Perez for Secretary of Labor. (Xinhua-ANI)

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