Julia Pierson is President Obama’s choice for Mark Sullivan’s previous secret service position.
Julia Pierson is the first woman to be selected as the Secret Service’s director, following the resignation of former director Mark Sullivan. The recent change is linked to a prostitution scandal in which members of the secret service brought prostitutes to their hotel rooms during their travel to Cartagena, Columbia to secure grounds for President Obama’s arrival.
Many are hoping that Julia Pierson will change the male dominated service. Though others are saying the choice supports the idea that women and other minorities are given the opportunity for advancement after the job has been compromised, as many apply the same reasoning and justification to President Obama’s win after George Bush left office.
Julia Pierson, 53, joined the secret service soon after college and has been in service for over three decades. President Obama says he Julia Pierson is “eminently qualified” to lead the secret service. Julia Pierson most recently served as the chief of staff, but she also served as the Deputy Assistant Director of the office of Protective Operations and the Assistant Director of Human Resources and Training.
Thirteen secret service agents were involved in the prostitution scandal that began when one agent refused to pay the prostitute and the two argued over the money in a hotel hallway. Three agents resigned after being accused of “cavorting with prostitutes during a trip to Cartagena as part of the ‘advance’ team working on President Obama’s trip to Colombia.”
Former Director Mark Sullivan showed praise and admiration for his successor, Julia Pierson. He said that she has demonstrated sound judgment, leadership, commitment, and character to our country during her time of service.
Mark Sullivan announced his retirement last month with more apologies regarding the scandal. He recently issued a new code of conduct banning agents from drink 10 hours prior to their shifts and bringing foreign nationals back to their hotel rooms.