US President Joe Biden has named Kimberly Cheatle as the new director of the Secret Service.
Ms. Cheetle served 27 years in the Secret Service and became the first woman to be appointed deputy chief of the Security Division, the division that provides security for the President and other dignitaries.
In 2021, Mr. Biden awarded her the presidential title.
She currently works as the Head of Security at PepsiCo.
Ms. Cheetle will become the second woman to lead the Secret Service after Julia Pearson, appointed by Barack Obama in 2013.
“Kim has had a long and distinguished career in the Secret Service, rising through the ranks in her 27 years with the agency, becoming the first woman to serve as Assistant Director of Protective Operations,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday. .
“Jill [First Lady] and I know firsthand about Kim’s commitment to her job, her people, and the mission of the Secret Service. When Kim was on my security team, when I was vice president, we began to trust her judgment and advice.
“She is an outstanding law enforcement professional with exceptional leadership qualities, and by far the best choice to lead the agency at a critical time for the Secret Service. I have complete confidence in her and I look forward to working with her,” he added.
Prior to her tenure as Assistant Director of Protective Operations, Ms. Cheetle served as Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office, providing oversight for all mission-related investigations, protective intelligence, and protective visits in the State of Georgia.
Her appointment comes as the Secret Service is at the center of mounting criticism after admitting that text messages around the time of the Capitol riot last January were deleted.
In a July 14 statement, a Secret Service spokesman denied that staff “maliciously deleted text messages.”
“In fact, the Secret Service cooperated fully with [DHS inspector general] in all respects – whether it be interviews, documents, emails or texts,” said Anthony Guglielmi.
In addition, members of the Secret Service were called to testify before the House Select Committee investigating last year’s uprising.
This raised serious questions about the behavior of former President Donald Trump and his attempts to provoke the crowd and undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Welcoming Ms. Cheetle as head of the Secret Service, Mr. Guglielmi said she “is a veteran law enforcement officer and until her retirement was the first female Assistant Director in charge of all of the agency’s defense operations.”
“We are thrilled to welcome her back as the next Director of the US Secret Service,” he tweeted.