WASHINGTON — The director of the Secret Service is stepping down after two years leading the agency, including through the tumultuous 2016 presidential campaign.
Director Joe Clancy’s last day will be March 4, according to the Secret Service. He began his career at the agency in the Philadelphia field office in 1984, retired in 2011 and was called out of the private sector in 2014 to lead the agency on an acting basis after the resignation of Director Julia Pierson; she stepped down after a White House fence jumper armed with a knife made it through the front door.
Clancy was appointed as director in February 2015.
“Mr. Clancy was best known by Secret Service employees as a sincere and genuine leader, who walked the line to engage his people. He understood the challenges faced by the frontline agents, officers and professional staff, and it was that understanding that guided his sound decisions,” the Secret Service press office said in a statement. “While his focus remained on the mission, he strove to improve the quality of life challenges, which faced his people. His accomplishments in this endeavor included record increases in recruiting and hiring. His personal and soft spoken style will be greatly missed as the agency continues its role to safeguard the executive branch of government and the nation’s financial systems.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not mention the Secret Service changes during the daily briefing.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Clancy “took on the difficult task of returning to and taking over an agency plagued with mismanagement, misconduct, and security lapses.”
“Under his leadership, the Secret Service has worked with this committee to implement detailed recommendations put forth in our bipartisan staff report. I wish him and his family the best as they begin a new chapter,” Chaffetz said. “Moving forward, I encourage President Trump to appoint a director from outside the agency. A fresh set of eyes and new perspective is needed to restore the prestige and status expected of such an elite agency.”
Secret Service Chief Strategy Officer Tom Dougherty told Chaffetz’s panel in November that Clancy “rebuilt the Secret Service’s command structure and implemented policies to increase transparency and communication between senior leaders, supervisors and the rank and file across our agency.”
Clancy was also focused on efforts “to support all of our employees as we build our hiring and retention initiatives,” Dougherty said. “There are many, and fight to provide them with the commensurate compensation for long hours that they work on behalf of the American people. We made many tremendous strides in fulfilling these.”