Obama swears in Julia Pierson as the first female Secret Service director


US Secret Service agents guard vehicles in the motorcade of former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Oct. 5, 2012 in Weyers Cave, Virginia.


Justin Sullivan

Julia Pierson made history on Wednesday when she was sworn in as the first female director of the Secret Service by President Barack Obama.

“I have to say that Julia’s reputation within the service is extraordinary, she’s come up through the ranks, she’s done just about every job there is to do at the Secret Service," Obama said at a ceremony at the White House's Oval Office. "Obviously, she’s breaking the mold in terms of directors of the agency, and I think that people are all extraordinarily proud of her."

Pierson, who has been with the agency for 30 years, has worked as a Secret Service agent and filled a number of leadership roles.

Pierson's appointment follows a tumultuous year for the agency, which was plagued by a prostitution scandal involving 13 Secret Service employees while on duty in Colombia.

More from GlobalPost: Obama to name Julia Pierson first female Secret Service head

White House deputy press secretary Joshua Earnest said while it is notable that she is the first woman to lead the agency "it's not the reason she was chosen for the job."

Earnest said "she was chosen for the job because she is the right person at the right time."