[QODLink]
Americas

US names first female Secret Service chief

Obama administration appoints Julia Pierson as director of agency which was marred by prostitution scandal last year.

Last Modified: 27 Mar 2013 03:11
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Pierson's appointment signals President Obama's desire to change culture at the male-dominated service [Reuters]

Barack Obama, the US president, has named Julia Pierson as the first female chief of the Secret Service, the elite protection branch which was marred by a prostitution scandal in Colombia last year.

In Depth
   Profile: Julia Pierson

Pierson, who most recently served as the agency's chief of staff, will take over from Mark Sullivan, who announced his retirement last month.

She joins a notably male team around Obama, who had been criticised for bringing in several men advisers for his second term, which started in January.

"Over her 30 years of experience with the Secret Service, Julia has consistently exemplified the spirit and dedication the men and women of the service demonstrate every day," Obama said in a statement.

Pierson's appointment as director of the Secret Service, which protects the president and his family and investigates currency counterfeiting and fraud, does not require Senate confirmation.

New code of conduct

Last year the agency scrambled to contain fallout from an affair which involved prostitutes and its agents in the Colombian city of Cartagena, where Obama attended the Summit of the Americas.

The Secret Service employees brought women, including prostitutes, to the hotel where they were staying.

The incident became public after one agent refused to pay a prostitute and the pair argued about payment in a hotel hallway.

More than two dozen Secret Service agents and military personnel, tasked with preparing security for Obama's high-profile visit, were sent home as a result.

  Petraeus is expected to offer his 'deep regret' for affair that led to his resignation as CIA director [Reuters]

Eight employees were forced out of the agency, and three were cleared of serious misconduct.

Secret Service director Sullivan apologised for the drama, which prompted the agency to change some of its rules.

According to the new code of conduct, employees were banned from drinking within 10 hours of starting a shift or bringing foreign nationals back to their hotel rooms.

Meanwhile, former CIA director David Petraeus was scheduled to make his first public speech since resigning in November over an extramarital affair at a University of Southern California event honouring the military on Tuesday night.

A prepared text of his speech, obtained by The New York Times, indicates that Petraeus will apologise for the affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell and talk about his plans for the future.

His affair with Broadwell, was discovered during an FBI investigation into emails she sent to another woman she viewed as a rival for his attention.

The 60-year-old famed Iraq and Afghan war general retired from the military in 2011 and went on to lead the CIA before he resigned over the scandal last November.

"I join you keenly aware that I am regarded in a different light now than I was a year ago," The New York Times quoted from Petraeus’s speech.

550

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
join our mailing list