Alexander Pierce was a councilman on the World Security Council and a sleeper agent for HYDRA, as well as a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D agent. He was still frequently addressed as "Mr. Secretary", presumably out of respect for his former status as U.S. Secretary of Defense. Serves as film's hidden true main antagonist
During a hostage situation in Bogota while serving as the US Secretary of Defense, Pierce met Nick Fury. Pierce believed that the hostage situation could, and should, be solved diplomatically. Fury disagreed and disobeyed Pierce's orders, sending in a military force to rescue the hostages before they were killed. Impressed, Pierce made Fury Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Years later, Pierce had gained himself a seat on the World Security Council, where he used his influence to develop Project Insight, advertising the project as a means for world-wide protection. In reality, it was a ploy by HYDRA to kill off any and all threats to the underground organization. After Fury discovered the truth of Project Insight and S.H.I.E.L.D's infiltration, Pierce marked Fury for immediate assassination.
Foiled by Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Samuel Wilson and Fury, who destroyed the three Helicarriers for Project Insight, Pierce attempted to take Romanoff hostage with explosives. However, Romanoff disabled the explosive, and Pierce was executed on the spot by Director Fury.
In 2023, a time heist was executed by the Avengers in order to retrieve the Infinity Stones and undo the Decimation by Thanos that had occurred five years earlier. After using the Quantum Realm to go to the Battle of New York in 2012, Captain America and others saw an alternate reality version of Pierce, who confronted the guards while they were escorting Loki out of Stark Tower.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D appearances: