The Challenges Ahead As Secret Service Director Pierson Steps Down


With the resignation of director Julia Pierson, the Secret Service is the latest beleaguered agency to be deemed in need of a top-to-bottom housecleaning after high-profile management failures, reports Politico. Pierson was supposed to usher in a new era at the Secret Service after the international embarrassment security agents caused President Obama in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2012 by cavorting with prostitutes on the night before the president arrived in town. However, the string of embarrassments continued to pile up under her tenure, with an intruder making it over the White House fence and across the ground floor of the residence before being apprehended and another man carrying a gun while operating an elevator Obama rode in during a Georgia visit.

Former Presidential Protective Division chief Joe Clancy has been named interim director. Politico says the agency’s new director will have to win over or intimidate five audiences to get the Secret Service back on track: the Obamas, Congress, the agency’s rank and file, the public and the press, and potential threats to the President. On the last, Politico says, “The image of the world's best bodyguard service has long been critical to dissuading most potential troublemakers from even attempting some kind of attack. Now, that force-field, created in large part by popular culture, seems to be fading.”

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