The Washington Examiner reported this week that the Secret Service’s director is stepping down and President Joe Biden has named his replacement.
First woman to lead the Secret Service
According to a White House statement released on Thursday, PepsiCo executive Kimberly Cheatle will take over from retiring Secret Service head James Murray.
The statement noted that prior current role at PepsiCo, Cheatle “served more than 25 years for the United States Secret Service in numerous leadership roles.”
Biden was quoted as saying that he and the first lady “know firsthand Kim’s commitment to her job and to the Secret Service’s people and mission.”
“When Kim served on my security detail when I was Vice President, we came to trust her judgment and counsel,” the president continued.
“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,” he insisted, adding that Cheatle “has my complete trust, and I look forward to working with her.”
The Secret Service falls under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also expressed words of praise for Cheatle in a statement of his own.
“Ms. Cheatle is an experienced leader, a veteran of the Secret Service, who advanced through the ranks to become the first woman in the role of Assistant Director of the Office of Protective Operations before departing for the private sector,” Mayorkas declared.
“She has deep knowledge and understanding of the Agency’s missions to investigate and protect. I am 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,” he said.
Secret Service under investigation over January 6 text messages
Cheatle’s appointment comes at a time of controversy for the Secret Service, with Fox News reporting last month that the DHS has opened a criminal investigation into the deletion of text messages tied to the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
Fox News went on to reveal in August that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has sought to learn the personal cell phone numbers of approximately 2,000 Secret Service employees.
The network noted that this request is not limited to those personnel who were at the Capitol Building on January 6 or present at President Donald Trump’s rally.