WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 17: US Secret Service Director, Joseph Clancy, attends House Homeland Security Committee and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, November 17, 2015 in Washington, DC. The committees were hearing testimony on 'Examining Ongoing Challenges at the U.S. Secret Service and their Government-wide Implications'. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Cox Media Group National Content Desk
United States Secret Service director Joseph Clancy announced his retirement Tuesday, two years after he was appointed to the position by President Barack Obama.
"As all of you know, President Trump and his administration have been very supportive of this agency and of me personally, which makes this a very difficult decision," he wrote in the letter. "My love for this agency has only complicated the decision further, but for personal reasons it is time. I look forward to spending time with my family."
Clancy came out of retirement to serve as acting director of the Secret Service in October 2014 amid a rash of high-profile stumbles and mishaps by the agency. One month before Clancy's tenure began, a knife-wielding man climbed over the White House fence and opened the door to the executive mansion. He was later apprehended.
Clancy was sworn in as permanent director in February 2015, CNN reported.
"He took on the difficult task of returning to and taking over an agency plagued with mismanagement, misconduct and security lapses," House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said in a statement. "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."
Clancy told the Washington Post that his "proudest moments" as Secret Service director came in 2015 as authorities worked Pope Francis' four-city visit to America and a United Nations General Assembly meeting that brought 170 foreign dignitaries to New York.
"We had been going through a tough time, but I could see in their eyes and hear in their voices they were determined to succeed," he told the Post. "They wanted to prove to everyone they could complete this most difficult mission, and they did. I knew they were exhausted, but they were determined, and knowing what they had been through over recent years, it was inspirational to me."
Clancy joined the Secret Service in 1984. He became the head of Obama's detail in 2009 and retired in 2011, according to Politico.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, praised Clancy's work Tuesday and wished him well in a statement.
"Director Clancy has served our nation honorably for decades by protecting several presidents, their families and the White House complex from harm," Goodlatte said. "Under director Clancy's leadership, the Secret Service did a stellar job protecting presidential candidates during the 2016 election. He also helped restore professionalism at the agency after a series of security lapses and incidents of misconduct over the past few years."
It was not immediately clear who would replace Clancy. Chaffetz urged Trump to bring in "a fresh set of eyes and new perspective" with an appointment from outside the agency.
The Washington Post named George Mulligan, the chief operating officer of the Secret Service and a former Pentagon official, as the top candidate to fill Clancy's spot.
"Other names being discussed include former Clinton detail leader Larry Cockell; Mickey Nelson, a former assistant director; and the newly promoted deputy director William Callahan," according to the newspaper.