Julia Pierson

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Julia Pierson
Julia Pierson.jpg
23rd Director of the U.S. Secret Service
Assumed office
March 27, 2013
President Barack Obama
Deputy A.T. Smith
Preceded by Mark J. Sullivan
Personal details
Born 1959
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Residence Washington, D.C.
Alma mater University of Central Florida
Occupation Director, U.S. Secret Service
Profession Law enforcement

Julia A. Pierson (born 1959)[1] is an American law enforcement official. She is the Director of the United States Secret Service.[2] Pierson was appointed by President Barack Obama and became the 23rd director and the first woman to head the male dominated agency.[2][3][4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Pierson is a native of Orlando, Florida.[6] While she attended high school, she worked at Walt Disney World as a parking lot attendant, watercraft attendant, and in costume in Disney parades.[7]

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,[8] and was 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.[9]


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.[9] She joined the United States Secret Service in 1984 as a special agent. She served in the Miami Field Office from 1984 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 Presidents 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.[3][6]

Pierson was already the agency's highest-ranking woman before being promoted to director.[7] She is tasked with improving the image of the USSS, following the Summit of the Americas prostitution scandal.[1]


  1. ^ a b Baker, Peter (March 26, 2013). "First Woman Is Chosen to Lead Secret Service". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Obama to name Julia Pierson as new Secret Service director". Washington Post. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  3. ^ a b "President Obama Announces A Key Administration Post". The White House. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  4. ^ "Obama Will Appoint Julia Pierson As Secret Service Director". NPR. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  5. ^ "Julia Pierson, first woman picked to lead Secret Service". Politico. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  6. ^ a b "Orlando's Julia Pierson to be 1st woman Secret Service head". Central Florida News 13. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  7. ^ a b Roth, Siobhan (June 1, 2007). "FOR HIRE: Secret Service Agent". smithsonianmag.com. Retrieved March 2013. 
  8. ^ Wendell, Bryan (April 5, 2013). "Our Own Background Check on the New Secret Service Director Turns up ...". Bryan on Scouting. Scouting. 
  9. ^ a b Curtis, Henry Pierson (March 26, 2013). "Julia Pierson, appointed first female director of U.S. Secret Service, has OPD roots". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 27, 2013.