WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has chosen Joseph Clancy as the new head of the US Secret Service, the White House said on Wednesday, after a series of high profile security lapses led to a shake-up in the troubled agency’s leadership.
Clancy, who personally helped guard the lives of three US presidents, has been head of the agency on an interim basis for the past four months. Director Julia Pierson stepped down in October after an embarrassing Sept 19 White House breach in which a man carrying a knife jumped the fence and ran into the executive mansion.
Obama chose Clancy, a 27-year veteran of the Secret Service, despite the recommendation of an independent review panel in December that the next director be someone from outside the agency, which it said had become too insular.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Clancy has “a lot of credibility built up inside the agency and he used that credibility to put in place reforms that were recommended by this outside panel” appointed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
“Over the course of the last several months, Director Clancy has demonstrated the kind of leadership that frankly many of us expected him to demonstrate,” Earnest said at a news briefing.