Obama to name first female Secret Service chief

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 15:41 EDT
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Secret Service Director to-be Julia Pierson. Photo: Secret Service.
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President Barack Obama is expected to announce on Tuesday that he’s selected a woman to lead the Secret Service, the first in the agency’s history, according to administration officials who spoke to The Washington Post.

Obama will appoint Julia Pierson, 53, to lead the agency that provides protection to U.S. presidents and leading presidential candidates. She’s been with the agency for over 30 years, the Post noted, serving as an agent, then moving up to assistant director and chief of staff.

The Post added that Pierson’s appointment is intended to “bring a culture change” to the Secret Service, which found over a dozen agents embroiled in a prostitution scandal during Obama’s visit to Colombia in 2012.

One of the sex workers at the center of that controversy later told the media that Obama’s advance security team seemed more concerned with partying than ensuring the president’s safety. “These seem like completely stupid, idiotic people,” Dania Londono Suarez told NBC News. “I don’t know how Obama had them in his security force.”

The scandal marred the tenure of former Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to such an extent that he was forced to resign. He told the Post that Pierson’s appointment is both “historic” and “exciting,” saying he’s sure she is an excellent choice.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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