Janet Napolitano

First female Secretary of Homeland Security

Napolitano, Janet.jpg

"Janet Napolitano is an American politician, lawyer, and university administrator who served as the 21st Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009 and United States Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013, under President Barack Obama. She has been president of the University of California system since September 2013, shortly after she resigned as Secretary of Homeland Security.


Prior to her election as governor, she served as Attorney General of Arizona from 1999 to 2003. She was the first woman and the 23rd person to serve in that office. Napolitano is the 1977 Truman Scholar from New Mexico.


She has been the first woman to serve in several offices, including Attorney General of Arizona, Secretary of Homeland Security, and president of the University of California.


Forbes ranked her as the world's ninth most powerful woman in 2012. In 2008, she was cited by The New York Times to be among the women most likely to become the first female President of the United States. Some political commentators had suggested a possible candidacy in the 2016 election.


Napolitano attended Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, where she won a Truman Scholarship and studied political science. She was named valedictorian of her graduating class. After graduation, she went to work as an analyst for the United States Senate Committee on the Budget. In 1978, she studied for a term at the London School of Economics as part of Santa Clara's exchange programme through IES Abroad.[citation needed] She then received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Virginia School of Law. After law school she served as a law clerk for Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and then joined Schroeder's former firm, Lewis and Roca located in Phoenix. Napolitano was named a partner of the firm in 1989.


In 1991, while a partner at Lewis and Roca LLP, Napolitano served as an attorney for Anita Hill. Anita Hill testified in the U.S. Senate that then U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her ten years earlier when she was his subordinate at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.


In 1993, Napolitano was appointed by President Bill Clinton as United States Attorney for the District of Arizona. As U.S. Attorney, she was involved in the investigation of Michael Fortier of Kingman, Arizona, in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing. She ran for and won the position of Arizona Attorney General in 1998. During her tenure as attorney general, she focused on consumer protection issues and improving general law enforcement.


While still serving as attorney general, she spoke at the 2000 Democratic National Convention just three weeks after having a mastectomy. Napolitano recalls that the pain was so unbearable that she couldn't stand up. "Work and family helped me focus on other things while I battled the cancer," says Napolitano. "I am very grateful for all the support I had from family, friends and Arizonans."


She narrowly won the 2002 Arizona gubernatorial election with 46 percent of the vote, succeeding Republican Jane Dee Hull and defeating her Republican opponent, former congressman Matt Salmon, who received 45 percent of the vote. She was Arizona's third female governor and the first woman in the United States to be elected governor to succeed another elected female governor. She was also the first Democrat popularly elected to the governorship since Bruce Babbitt left office in 1987, and the first female governor of Arizona to be elected outright.


She spoke at the 2004 Democratic Convention, after some initially considered her to be a possible running mate for presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election but Kerry selected Sen. John Edwards instead. In November 2005, Time magazine named her one of the five best governors in the U.S.


As Governor, Napolitano set records for total number of vetoes issued. In 2005, she set a single session record of 58 vetoes, breaking Jane Dee Hull's 2001 record of 28. This was followed in June 2006, less than four years into her term, when she issued her 115th veto and set the all-time record for vetoes by an Arizona governor. The previous record of 114 vetoes was set by Bruce Babbitt during his nine years in office. By the time she left office, the governor had issued 180 vetoes.


In November 2006, Napolitano won the gubernatorial election of 2006, defeating the Republican challenger, Len Munsil, by a nearly 2–1 ratio and becoming the first woman to be re-elected to that office. Arizona's constitution provides a two-consecutive-term term limit for its governors,  meaning Napolitano would have been barred from seeking a third term in office in 2010.


In January 2006, she won the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service. She was a member of the Democratic Governors Association Executive Committee. Furthermore, she has also served previously as Chair of the Western Governors Association, and the National Governors Association. She served as NGA Chair from 2006 to 2007, and was the first female governor and first governor of Arizona to serve in that position.


In February 2006, Napolitano was named by The White House Project as one of "8 in '08", a group of eight female politicians who could possibly run for president in 2008. On January 11, 2008, Napolitano endorsed then Illinois Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for president. On November 5, 2008, Napolitano was named to the advisory board of the Obama-Biden Transition Project. On December 1, 2008, Barack Obama introduced Napolitano as his nominee for United States Secretary of Homeland Security. On January 20, 2009, Napolitano was confirmed, becoming the first woman appointed Secretary in the relatively new department, and the fourth person to hold the position overall (including one acting secretary). Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer became governor of Arizona, as the state does not have a lieutenant governor.


In March 2009, Napolitano told the German news site Der Spiegel that while she presumes there is always a threat from terrorism: "I referred to 'man-caused' disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur."  In April 2009, Napolitano, in an interview defending her plans to tighten Canada–US border, incorrectly implied that September 11 attack perpetrators entered the United States from Canada, a claim which had previously been made by multiple United States politicians based upon erroneous news reports in the days after the attack. Although Naplitano clarified she misunderstood the question and was referring to other individuals who had planned attacks and entered through Canada, some Canadian diplomats and leaders were displeased at what they saw as the persistence of a myth.


In response to criticism, she later said, "Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there." Though there has only been one case, that of Ahmed Ressam an Algerian citizen who was in Canada illegally…


Napolitano announced she would leave her post as Secretary of Homeland Security at the end of August 2013 to become president of the University of California system. She was appointed the 20th president by the University of California Board of Regents on July 18, 2013, and began her tenure as president on September 30, 2013.


President Napolitano proposed increases in tuition to compensate for the decrease in state support.


In August 2015, network monitoring hardware was installed on the UC Berkeley campus network at the behest of Napolitano. Critics fear that this hardware can be used to monitor all network traffic, including academics' emails. Despite internal criticism, the decision to install the hardware was kept secret until January 2016, when a number of professors addressed it in a public letter.


In April 2016, Napolitano placed Linda Katehi, the chancellor of UC Davis, on administrative leave following revelations that the university attempted to suppress web searches relating to the UC Davis pepper-spray incident, as well as charges of nepotism and misuse of student funds.


On April 25, 2017 the California State Auditor issued a report that Janet Napolitano and her University of California Office of the President secretly failed to disclose $175 million dollars and engaged in misleading budget practices.


On September 8, 2017 the University California and Janet Napolitano filed a lawsuit against the United States Federal Government in response to President Trump's decision to ultimately end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.


In November 2017, the University of California took disciplinary action against Napolitano. According to the independent report by retired State Supreme Justice Carlos R. Moreno, Napolitano approved a plan that pressured the ten UC campuses to change their survey responses about Napolitano’s administration from negative responses to positive ones." (1)

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