Biden named the next Secret Service director ‘at a critical moment’

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Kim Cheatle previously worked at the agency for 27 years and was on Biden’s detail when he was vice president.

President Biden’s choice for the next Secret Service director worked at the agency for over 25 years and was part of  his detail when he was vice president. He announced the selection on Wednesday.

Kim Cheatle, who is currently a senior director at PepsiCo North America, “has had a long and distinguished career at the Secret Service, having risen through the ranks during her 27 years with the agency, becoming the first woman in the role of Assistant Director of protective operations,” said the president in a statement. “When Kim served on my security detail when I was Vice President, we came to trust her judgment and counsel. She is a distinguished law enforcement professional with exceptional leadership skills and was easily the best choice to lead the agency at a critical moment for the Secret Service.” 

Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of the Homeland Security Department, said Cheatle “has deep knowledge and understanding of the agency’s missions to investigate and protect” he is “confident that her skillset, combined with her fresh perspective, will ensure the Secret Service builds on its strong foundation to grow and evolve into an even more effective agency.” 

The agency, first established in 1865 as part of the Treasury Department, has 7,822 employees, according to the most recent data from the Office of Personnel Management. 

“We have an integrated mission of protection and financial investigations to ensure the safety and security of our protectees, key locations, and events of national significance,” the agency said on its website. “We also protect the integrity of our currency and investigate crimes against the U.S. financial system committed by criminals around the world and in cyberspace.” 

The outgoing director, James Murray, announced his retirement from the agency in early July and it was reported that he would be going to Snapchat, after over three decades at the agency. But then he decided to delay his retirement briefly amid the investigations into the Secret Service’s handling of text messages in the lead up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, CBS News reported. 

Murray, who became director of the Secret Service in May 2019, was in charge when the vast amount of money the agency had to pay to stay at Trump properties during the Trump administration was scrutinized as well as during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lafayette Square clearing in June 2020, an unprecedented presidential election cycle, the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6., 2021 where then-Vice President Mike Pence was present and now investigations by federal watchdogs and Congress into its actions before, during and after Jan. 6., 2021.