LSU Alumna Leslie Pichon: U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge and Louisiana Cyber Champion
April 18, 2023
Protecting Presidents and Residents
LSU speech communication alumna Leslie Pichon is one of the nation’s premier cybersecurity leaders. After spending more than 20 years investigating financial fraud and protecting three consecutive American presidents, she is now working to secure Louisiana against cyber threats as Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans field office of the United States Secret Service.
Pichon works with multiple cybersecurity partners to protect Louisiana: law enforcement, including the Louisiana State Police Cyber Crime Unit; Louisiana National Guard; Louisiana’s ESF-17 emergency response function to cyberattacks as coordinated by the Governor’s Office—and LSU.
“Coming to the New Orleans field office in 2018, I made sure we joined the state’s cybersecurity commission, and that opened the door to all of these growing partnerships,” Pichon said. “Academia is so important because that’s where our next agents will be coming from. And if it’s important to pick a school, why not the best school?”
All United States Secret Service agents have a dual mission—protection and investigations. As such, Pichon was repeatedly selected to work on the protective details of President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump. As a senior executive selected for higher leadership, Pichon needed to choose a developmental assignment for herself. She chose cyber protection for her home state.
“Now that LSU is an NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations, our partnership can lead to a more permanent collaboration,” Pichon said. “That’s my end goal. Once a Tiger, always a Tiger.”
“I strive to cultivate a true team mentality, because at the end of the day, if one of us fails, we all fail.”
Leslie Pichon, special agent in charge of the New Orleans field office of the United States Secret Service and LSU College of Humanities & Social Sciences alumna