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Janet Napolitano Resigns To Become President Of UC

Helene Imperiale |
July 12, 2013 | 9:45 a.m. PDT

Executive Producer

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is stepping down to become President of the University of California system. Napolitano realesed a statement calling her four years as Secretary of Homeland Security "the highlight of my professional career.” Napolitano is the first women to head the UC system in its 145 years of operation.  

UC officials, who nominated her, believe that her Cabinet experiences will greatly aid the school system. The 10-campus university system usually nominates leaders with strong academic backgrounds, however UC regents feel that her political background should help deal with the budget, alumni relations, and lawmakers. Additionally, her experience in counter-terrorism while serving in the Obama administration will hopefully promote UC federally funded research. 

ALSO SEE: What Will Obama's Second Term Cabinet Look Like?

According to the LA Times, Sheery Lansing the director of the UC President search committee stated, "She will bring fresh eyes and a new sensibility -- not only to UC, but to all of California. She will stand as a vigorous advocate for faculty, students and staff at a time when great changes in our state, and across the globe, are presenting as many opportunities as challenges.”

ALSO SEE: Napolitano Tours Ports, Pledges Immigration Reform

Napolitano was previously the Governor of Arizona and was appointed under president Clinton to be the Attorney General of Arizona. While in both of these positions, Napolitano was a strong proponent of education, something that the UC regents felt qualified her for the position. 

The current UC President, Mark G. Yudof will step down after five years in office. He plans to teach law at UC Berkley.

Napolitano herself attended college in California at Santa Clara University before graduating as valedictorian from University of Virginia Law School. 

UC regents are expected to vote on Thursday of next week in San Francisco on her appointment.



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