Julia Pierson will be the first female director of the 148-year-old U.S. Secret Service. President Barack Obama appointed her last week, clearly comfortable putting his safety in the hands of a woman.

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Pierson, who has worked in the agency for 30 years, is tasked with restoring its credibility, which was tarnished last year when 13 agents were caught hiring prostitutes in Colombia in advance of Obama's arrival. Nine agents lost their jobs or left the agency.

Obama has been criticized for selecting mostly white males for high-profile positions in his second term. But this is one agency that clearly needed a dramatic change in culture. Pierson's selection should dismantle the macho-man, black suit and sunglasses image that the Secret Service has exploited over the years.