Former Law Enforcement Explorer Becomes First Woman to Head Secret Service
Julia A. Pierson was sworn in as the 23rd director of the United States Secret Service on March 27, becoming
the first woman to hold the post.
Pierson, who has more than 30 years of experience with the Secret Service, was an Explorer in Post 103 with the Orlando, Florida, Police Department as a youth and was the 1978 National Law Enforcement Exploring youth representative.
After serving as a police officer in Orlando, she began her career in the Secret Service as a special agent assigned to the Miami and Orlando field offices.
In her new post, she has agreed to serve as the National Law Enforcement Exploring chair.
Julia A. Pierson (born 1959 or 1960) is an American law enforcement official. She is currently the Director of the United States Secret Service. Pierson was appointed by President Barack Obama and became the 23rd Director and the first woman to head the male dominated agency.
 Early life
Pierson is a native of Orlando, Florida. While she attended high school, she worked at Walt Disney World as a parking lot attendant, watercraft attendant, and in costume in Disney parades.
She was an Explorer in the Boy Scouts of America, in a post specializing in law enforcement chartered to the Orlando Police Department. She was the 1978 National Law Enforcement Exploring Youth Representative, leading the Law Enforcement Exploring division, and has now been selected as the National Law Enforcement Exploring chair.
She attended the University of Central Florida, graduating in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Pierson served three years in the Orlando Police Department (OPD), patrolling the northeastern section of Orlando. She was one of the first female OPD officers assigned to a beat. She joined the United States Secret Service in 1983 as a Special Agent. She served in the Miami Field Office from 1983 to 1985, and the Orlando Field Office from 1985 to 1988. Pierson served as Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Protective Operations from 2005 to 2006, Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Administration from 2001 to 2005, and Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Protective Operations 2000 to 2001). She served on the presidential protective details (PPDs) of President’s George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. From 2008 to her appointment as Director, Pierson served as the Chief of Staff and the Assistant Director of the Office of Human Resources and Training for the Secret Service.
Pierson was already the agency’s highest-ranking woman before being promoted to Director. She is tasked with improving the image of the USSS, following the Summit of the Americas prostitution scandal.
Remarks by the President at Swearing-in Ceremony of Julia Pierson as the Director of the U.S. Secret Service
3:16 P.M. EDT
(The Vice President administers the oath to Ms. Pierson.)
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Congratulations.
THE PRESIDENT: Great job.
MS. PIERSON: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. Well, listen, I have to say that Julia’s reputation within the Service is extraordinary. She’s come up through the ranks. She’s done just about every job there is to do at the Secret Service.
Obviously, she’s breaking the mold in terms of directors of the agency, and I think that people are all extraordinarily proud of her. And we have the greatest confidence in the wonderful task that lies ahead and very confident that she is going to do a great job. So we just want to say congratulations.
As Joe Biden pointed out, this person now probably has more control over our lives than anyone else — (laughter) — except for our spouses. And I couldn’t be placing our lives in better hands than Julia’s.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: And my agents are excited that we picked her.
THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely. You’re going to do a great job.
Q How did you make your decision?
THE PRESIDENT: She has extraordinary qualifications, and I think a lot of people who have worked with Julia know how dedicated, how professional, how committed she is, and I think are absolutely certain that she’s going to thrive in this job.
Thank you, guys.
Q How are you feeling about your bracket, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Busted. (Laughter.) I think my women’s bracket is doing much better than my men’s bracket.
END 3:18 P.M. EDT