27 March 2013, 18:30

US Secret Service now has “a woman’s touch”

Julia Pierson
Julia Pierson
Julia Pierson

US President Barack Obama has appointed the first woman to lead the country’s Secret Service. Julia Pierson, a Secret Service veteran, used to work as its chief of staff.

The reputation of the Service, which is responsible for the safety of Obama and top officials, has been badly damaged in recent years.

Thus, in 2006, a Secret Service agent almost shot Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in an apparent accident when discharging his gun.

Last week, one of the limousines in Barack Obama's fleet broke down after a Secret Service agent mistakenly filled it with the wrong fuel at the start of Obama's visit to Israel.

The most notorious incident occurred last April when 12 agents were dismissed during preparations for Obama's trip to Cartagena, Colombia.

Then secret service employees took prostitutes to the hotel where they were staying and drank with them all night.

Such incidents badly damaged the image of US leaders, says Alexei Pilko, President of the World Politics Faculty of Moscow State University.

"This certainly hit the Secret Service reputation and the US learnt the lesson as America cares a lot about the image of its Secret Service."

Last month, Mark Sullivan, who headed the agency for seven years, retired after facing heavy criticism over the Colombian scandal.

The new appointment can make things better, taking into account Pierson’s experience, though it will take some time, says security expert Igor Nakhodkin.

"Pierson began her career in 1983 in the Miami field office of the Secret Service. She did very well and received a series of promotions that eventually took her to Washington. We can’t predict the results of her work now but global experience shows that women leaders often succeed, let’s remember Margaret Thatcher."

Russia’s KGB veteran Arsen Martirosyan focused on Julia’s personality. 

"Women are not that rare in special services and they’re quite efficient. Sometimes they can spot things missed by men. Women are household managers by their nature which makes them perfect organizers."

Thus, Julia Pierson has all chances to join famous women in special services.

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