Wednesday, April 3, 2013

secret no more.

a week ago, an infamously thick glass ceiling was shattered
with president obama's selection of veteran agent julia pierson
as director of the u.s. secret service.

pierson is the agency's 23rd director & its first woman leader.
the key responsibilities of the secret service are protecting the president,
& investigating counterfeiting & fraud.

a native of orlando, pierson was an explorer with
the boy [yes, boy] scouts of america,
in a post chartered by the orlando police department
specializing in law enforcement.

she earned her degree in criminal justice
at the university of central florida,
& became one of the first women to serve
as an opd patrol officer.

pierson joined the u.s. secret service in 1983 as a special agent
& has steadily climbed the ranks of the agency,
serving on the presidential protective details of
both presidents bush, as well as president bill clinton.

since 2008, she has served as the secret service's chief of staff &
assistant director of the office of human resources & training —
already the agency's highest-ranking woman.

president obama chose pierson as the woman for the job
following criticism that his second-term picks for high-level posts
have not been diverse enough, & criticism that the secret service's
notoriously male-dominant culture has gotten out of hand.

a year ago, the agency's reputation was sullied when
several secret-service agents took prostitutes to their hotel rooms
during preparation for the president's visit to cartagena, colombia.
in all, 13 agents & officers were caught up in the scandal.

pierson — who as a high-schooler worked at disney world
as a parking & watercraft attendant, as well as in costume
in park parades — is now tasked with turning
her agency's fratboy image around.

it's no secret that this woman — whom her colleagues call
smart, experienced & even-keeled — is up for the job.

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