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Director of the United States Secret Service


Director of the United States Secret Service

Director of the
United States Secret Service
Flag of the U.S. Secret Service
Seal of the U.S. Secret Service
Joseph Clancy

since October 1, 2014 (Acting)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Reports to Secretary of Homeland Security
Appointer President of the United States
Term length No term limit
Inaugural holder William P. Wood (as Chief)
Formation July 5, 1865
Deputy A.T. Smith

The Director of the United States Secret Service is the head of the U.S. Secret Service, and responsible for the day-to-day operations. The Secret Service is concerned with the prevention and investigation of counterfeiting of U.S. currency and U.S. treasury securities, and the protection of current and former national leaders and their families, such as the President and Vice President, and foreign dignitaries.[1][2][3]

The Secret Service is a federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security.[3][4] The Director is appointed serving at the approbation of the President of the United States, and is not subject to Senate confirmation.[5] The Director reports to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and operates with the general directions thereof. Prior to March 1, 2003, the Secret Service was a part of the United States Department of the Treasury.[4][6]


  • History 1
  • List of Chiefs and Directors 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation creating the Secret Service on April 14, 1865, the day of his assassination.[7] It was commissioned on July 5, 1865, in Washington, D.C. as the "Secret Service Division" of the Department of the Treasury.[8] After being appointed by President Andrew Johnson, William P. Wood was sworn in as the first Chief of the Secret Service on July 5, 1865 by Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch.[9]

When the Secret Service was established, its head was called the Chief of the Secret Service. In 1965, the title was changed to the Director of the Secret Service, four years into the term of James Joseph Rowley (1961–1973).[9] The longest serving head of the Secret Service was William H. Moran, who served under five presidents from 1917 to 1936.

On March 26, 2013, President Barack Obama appointed Julia Pierson to be the twenty-third Director of the Secret Service.[10] She became the first female director of the agency.[11]

As of October 1, 2014, the Secret Service is led by Acting Director Joseph Clancy, a retired agent who formerly led the Presidential Protective Division.

List of Chiefs and Directors

Order Name Assumed Office Left Office President Appointed By
1 William P. Wood July 5, 1865 1869 Andrew Johnson
2 Hiram C. Whitley 1869 1874 Ulysses S. Grant
3 Elmer Washburn 1874 1876 Ulysses S. Grant
4 James Brooks 1876 1888 Rutherford B. Hayes
5 John S. Bell 1888 1890 Grover Cleveland
6 Andrew L. Drummond 1891 1894 Benjamin Harrison
7 William P. Hazen 1894 1898 Grover Cleveland
8 John E. Wilkie 1898 1911 William McKinley
9 William J. Flynn 1912 1917 William Howard Taft
10 William H. Moran 1917 1936 Woodrow Wilson
11 Frank J. Wilson 1937 1946 Franklin D. Roosevelt
12 James J. Maloney 1946 1948 Harry Truman
13 U. E. Baughman 1948 1961 Harry Truman
14 James Joseph Rowley September 1, 1961 October 1973 John F. Kennedy
15 H. Stuart Knight 1973 1981 Richard Nixon
16 John R. Simpson 1981 1992 Ronald Reagan
17 John Magaw 1992 1993 George H. W. Bush
18 Eljay B. Bowron 1993 1997 Bill Clinton
19 Lewis C. Merletti June 6, 1997 1999 Bill Clinton
20 Brian L. Stafford March 4, 1999 January 24, 2003 Bill Clinton
21 W. Ralph Basham January 27, 2003 May 30, 2006 George W. Bush
22 Mark J. Sullivan May 31, 2006 February 22, 2013 George W. Bush
23 Julia Pierson March 27, 2013 October 1, 2014 Barack Obama
Acting Joseph Clancy October 1, 2014 Present Barack Obama

See also


  1. ^ "United States Secret Service: Investigative Mission". United States Secret Service. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  2. ^ "United States Secret Service: Employment Opportunities - Uniformed Officer". United States Secret Service. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Records of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS)".  
  4. ^ a b Resse, Shawn (2012-04-16). "The U.S. Secret Service: An Examination and Analysis of Its Evolving Missions".  
  5. ^ "Secret Service veteran first woman to lead it".  
  6. ^ On March 1, 2003, the Secret Service was transferred from United States Department of the Treasury to the United States Department of Homeland Security, pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002.
  7. ^ "A Brief History Of: The Secret Service".  
  8. ^ "The U.S. Secret Service in History".  
  9. ^ a b "Secret Service History". United States Secret Service. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  10. ^ "President Obama Announces A Key Administration Post". The White House. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 
  11. ^ "Obama to name Julia Pierson as new Secret Service director". Washington Post. 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2013-03-31. 

External links

  • Secret Service
  • Director of the Secret Service
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