The first woman to ever serve as Director of the United States Secret Service started her career in law enforcement in Florida.
The new director, Julie A. Pierson, is a 30-year veteran of the Secret Service. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in criminal justice in 1981 while working as a police officer with the Orlando Police Department from 1980 to 1983.
Pierson joined the Secret Service as a Special Agent with the Miami Field Office in 1983, a White House press release said.
Vice President Joe Biden swore Pierson in as the new director on Wednesday.
The agency’s reputation was tarnished last year after the prostitution scandal involving agents preparing for a presidential visit in Columbia. Many are hoping Pierson’s impeccable credentials will help restore credibility to the Secret Service.
“I have to say that Julia’s reputation within the Service is extraordinary,” President Obama said. “She’s come up through the ranks. She’s done just about every job there is to do at the Secret Service.”
On Pierson’s appointment to serve as the first female director of the Secret Service, President Obama said in a Tuesday press release:
I am pleased to announce that I will appoint Julia A. Pierson to be the next Director of the United States Secret Service. Over her 30 years of experience with the Secret Service, Julia has consistently exemplified the spirit and dedication the men and women of the service demonstrate every day. A veteran of the Miami and Orlando field offices, where she began her career at the Secret Service, Julia has served as the Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Protective Operations, Assistant Director of Human Resources and Training, and most recently as the Chief of Staff. 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.
Watch the swearing in ceremony from the Oval Office here: