The director of the U.S. Secret Service resigned Wednesday over recent lapses in security at the White House. 

"Today Julia Pierson, the director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it," Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said in a statement.  

Pierson acknowledged recent failures of officers to stop intruders at the White House were "unacceptable,” during testimony at a congressional hearing Tuesday, 

Her resignation comes after Omar Gonzalez, a knife-wielding Iraq War veteran, scaled the fences at the White House on Sept. 19 and was able to make it to the East Room before an off-duty agent was able to apprehend him.

As she testified, a new report claimed that on recent trip to Atlanta, an armed former felon with convictions for assault and battery was allowed to ride an elevator with President Barack Obama.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Obama had the opportunity to telephone Pierson to express "his appreciation for her service to the agency and to the country” but added that the president and Johnson appreciated her assessment to leave her post. 

"Over the last several days, we've seen recent and accumulating reports raising questions about the performance of the agency, and the president concluded that new leadership of that agency was required," Earnst said. 

Pierson, who was sworn in as the 23rd director of the agency in March, was appointed by Obama to help improve the image of the storied agency following a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2012 when some agents engaged in misconduct while providing security for Obama’s trip there for the Summit of the Americas.

Johnson appointed Joseph Clancy, a former director of the agency’s Presidential Protective Division, as the agency's interim head. He also commissioned Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to lead the ongoing investigation into the fence jumping incident at the White House.

Independent experts will evaluate the Sept. 19 incident and other issues concerning the agency. 

"By December 15, 2014, this panel will submit to me its own assessment and recommendations concerning security of the White House compound," he said. 

He said that he would also invite the panel to submit recommendations for potential new directors of the Secret Service and advise whether the panel believes, given the series of recent events, if there should be a review of broader issues concerning the agency.

Anadolu Agency