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Obama appoints woman as Secret Service director

US GOVERNMENT | 26 de marzo de 2013

President Barack Obama on Tuesday named Julia Pierson as the new head of the U.S. Secret Service and noted her "30 years of experience" in that agency, where she most recently occupied the post of chief of staff in the office of the director. EFE/File

Washington, Mar 26 (EFE).- President Barack Obama on Tuesday named Julia Pierson as the new director of the U.S. Secret Service, a landmark appointment for an agency that has always been directed by men.

In a communique released by the White House, Obama announced the designation of Pierson and noted her "30 years of experience" in the Secret Service, where she most recently occupied the post of chief of staff in the office of the director.

Pierson, whose appointment does not require confirmation by the Senate, "has consistently exemplified the spirit and dedication the men and women of the service demonstrate every day," the president said.

Obama also praised Pierson's "exemplary career" and said she is "eminently qualified" to direct the agency in charge of presidential security and also of combating financial fraud.

Pierson, 53, will become the first woman to direct the agency, which last April faced a controversy after it emerged that some agents patronized prostitutes during the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

Those revelations brought to the fore criticisms of the male-dominated internal culture of the Secret Service.

At least 12 agents were implicated in the scandal for taking prostitutes to their hotel rooms before Obama's arrival for the summit.

Mark Sullivan, who had been head of the Secret Service since 2006 and had apologized for the scandal, announced his retirement in February.

Pierson, his successor, entered the Secret Service in 1983 as a special agent in Miami.

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America in English