Once confirmed, Napolitano will be the first woman to be president in the UC system's 145-year history. She will also run the higher education system without any known experience in academia.
As one of 300 potential nominees reviewed for the position, Napolitano received unanimous votes of recommendation from the 10-member Special Committee, which announced the decision on Friday, July 12. As president, she will lead a comprehensive 10 campus system, including five medical centers, three national laboratories and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program.
The Board of Regents is expected to confirm the nomination on Thursday, July 18.
As a political figure, Napolitano served as governor of
Her responsibilities for Homeland Security included border security, counter-terrorism, immigration enforcement and disaster preparedness. Under her tenure, she aided in the response efforts to Hurricane Sandy, the 2010 BP oil spill in the
She has been criticized for overseeing a record number of immigration deportations, and Republican politicians have accused her of overreaching as secretary.
In a statement on her resignation, Napolitano stated, “For more than four years I have had the privilege of serving President Obama and his Administration as the Secretary of Hpmeland Security. The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security... has been the highlight of my professional career.”
“After four plus years of focusing on these challenges, I will be nominated as the next President of the
For his part, President Barack Obama said, “I want to thank Secretary Napolitano for her outstanding work on behalf of the American people over the last four years... I've come to rely on Janet's judgment and advice, but I've also come to value her friendship. And as she begins a new chapter in a remarkable career of public service, I wish her the best of luck.”
She will replace current President Mark G. Yudof, who will leave after five years in office. In January, he announced his resignation, which will be effective as of August 31. He cited “taxing” health issues as reason for leaving his post.
Napolitano is expected to begin in September.
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