Published On: Fri, Jul 12th, 2013

Homeland Security head Janet Napolitano to resign, will head Univ of California system

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who has served in President Obama’s Cabinet since Day One of his administration, announced Friday that she would step down to become president of the University of California system.

Napolitano will be starting her new position in September, an administration official tells CBS News. She is the first woman to lead the department, which was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Before that, Napolitano served as governor of Arizona.

President Barack Obama meets with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in the Oval Office, May 9, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama meets with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in the Oval Office, May 9, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

As DHS Secretary, Napolitano oversaw a $60 billion budget and more than 240,000 employees in several agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Coast Guard.

In a statement, Napolitano called serving as DHS secretary the highlight of her professional career.

“The Department has improved the safety of travelers; implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation’s borders; worked with states to build resiliency and make our nation’s emergency and disaster response capabilities more robust; and partnered with the private sector to improve our cybersecurity,” she said.

President Obama said in a statement that Americans are safer and more secure because of Napolitano’s leadership.

“She’s worked around the clock to respond to natural disasters, from the Joplin tornado to Hurricane Sandy, helping Americans recover and rebuild,” he said. “Since day one, Janet has led my administration’s effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values.”

The UC regents are expected to approve Napolitano’s nomination on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The 10-campus university system has typically had leaders with backgrounds in academia or campus administration, but Napolitano’s background in politics should help the university system’s relationships with lawmakers, alumni and parents at a time of significant budget constraints.

Her experience in anti-terrorism and disaster relief should also help the UC system foster its federally-funded research, according to the L.A. Times.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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