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Obama chooses first female Secret Service director

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has chosen veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson as the first woman to become director of the agency that protects the president, two officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

Pierson has been chief of staff at the Secret Service, which last year became embroiled in a scandal involving agents taking prostitutes to their hotel rooms in Colombia before Obama visited the country.

Pierson is a native of Florida and began her career with the Secret Service as a special agent with the Miami Field Office in 1983. Starting in 1988, she served four years with the Presidential Protective Division.

She will replace Mark Sullivan who retired as Secret Service director in February. The position does not require confirmation by the Senate.