July 12, 2013
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is resigning to head the University of California system.
Napolitano, just the third person to lead the 10-year-old Homeland Security Department (DHS), told her senior staff Friday she would be leaving for California. She will become the president of the University of California system, which includes UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley, among other campuses.
"I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history," Napolitano said, "and I know the Department of Homeland Security will continue to perform its important duties with the honor and focus that the American public expects."
Obama issued a statement commending Napolitano for "her outstanding work on behalf of the American people over the last four years."
Napolitano, a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and former Arizona governor, was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2008. She had led the department through a series of policy changes with respect to protecting the public safety, including a focus on enforcing immigration laws.
Under her tenure, DHS implemented a wide-spread policy of using prosecutorial discretion when arrested immigrants in the country without permission, saying her department needed to focus its scarce resources on criminals and those who posed a threat to public safety and national security.