Janet Napolitano to resign, officials confirm

imagesIn a sudden, surprise announcement Friday morning, U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is resigning.

She is set to become the first woman president of the University of California’s “10-campus,” education system in its “145-year history,” the L.A. Times reported

According to USA Today, Napolitano issued a statement Friday saying:

I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history, 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.

President Obama issued a statement on Napolitano’s announcement:

I want to thank Secretary Napolitano for her outstanding work on behalf of the American people over the last four years.  At the Department of Homeland Security, Janet’s portfolio has included some of the toughest challenges facing our country.  She’s worked around the clock to respond to natural disasters, from the Joplin tornado to Hurricane Sandy, helping Americans recover and rebuild. 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.  And the American people are safer and more secure thanks to Janet’s leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks. 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.

Napolitano’s appointment to head the UC system is said to be “unusual” in that a “politician” will hold a position usually given to an “academic,” the Times said.

According to the Times:

“While some may consider her to be an unconventional choice, Secretary Napolitano is without a doubt the right person at the right time to lead this incredible university,”  Sherry Lansing, the regent and former film industry executive who headed the search committee, said in a statement being released Friday. “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.”

Napolitano was the first woman to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security since its creation after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

More information as this story develops.

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