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Earlier today (March 26), President Barack Obama appointed former field agent Julia Pierson as the next director of the U.S. Secret Service. Pierson is the first woman to ever hold the office.

Pierson previously served as the Chief of Staff and the Assistant Director of the Office of Human Resources and Training for the Secret Service. NBC News spoke with a White House official who confirmed the news that Pierson would move up from her current role to the director’s office. President Obama sang Pierson’s praises in a media statement.

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. Julia is eminently qualified to lead the agency that not only safeguards Americans at major events and secures our financial system, but also protects our leaders and our first families, including my own. Julia has had an exemplary career, and I know these experiences will guide her as she takes on this new challenge to lead the impressive men and women of this important agency.

Pierson is well qualified for the job, having served as a field agent on presidential detail for former presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Pierson got her start in 1983 by working for the Secret Service’s Miami Field Office before moving on to Orlando. She will succeed Mark J. Sullivan, who held the office since 2006.

Photo: Department Of Homeland Security