First woman appointed to head Secret Service

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Julia A. Pierson (Photo:

Julia A. Pierson (Photo:

( — President Obama today appointed Julia A. Pierson to replace Mark Sullivan as head of the Secret Service, according to

Sullivan stepped down last months after three decades at the agency. The Center for Investigative Reporting noted yesterday that Sullivan is staring a global security firm with ex-chief of staff to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Chicago White Sox and Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

Under Sullivan’s leadership, the agency faced intense criticism during a prostitution scandal in Colombia last year.

Pierson, who was a police officer in Orlando, Fla., before joining the Secret Service as an agent in 1983, will be the first woman to head the agency. She most recently served as chief of staff in the director’s office since 2008, where her main areas of responsibility have been technology and modernization.

In announcing her appointment, President Obama said, “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.”