Janet Napolitano will step down as secretary of Homeland Security in August after four years as one of the Obama administration's highest-ranking security officials.
Napolitano announced her resignation today, saying she would be nominated as the next president of the University of California.
Napolitano helped oversee the evolution of U.S. Customs and Border Protection after the September 11 attacks to more of a supply chain security facilitator than just a revenue collector, although the latter is still the agency’s top priority, said Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association. He said her legacy in terms of air cargo will be bringing CBP and the Transportation Security Administration to work together on the Air Cargo Advance Screening initiative.
Napolitano was sworn in as the third secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on Jan. 21, 2009, leaving the office of governor of Arizona to join the Obama administration. Before serving as governor of Arizona, she had been attorney general of Arizona and the U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona. DHS was formed by President George W. Bush in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
She said that working with the people of DHS had been the highlight of her professional career.