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Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano '79 to step down

After serving as secretary of Homeland Security since 2009, Janet Napolitano is stepping down to return to California as president of the UC system.

The former Arizona governor and attorney general was appointed by President Obama in 2008 to be the third secretary of Homeland Security, a department created in the wake of 9/11. In this role, she manages a department with more than 240,000 employees with a mission of keeping Americans safe.

She is a Santa Clara alumna and was the valedictorian of the class of 1979. At SCU, she was a member of the honors program and was granted the prestigious Truman Scholarship in her senior year for her work in public service. She later received a law degree from the University of Virginia.

Over the years Napolitano has kept her connection to Santa Clara. She has returned to speak at Commencement and for the President’s Speaker Series. Read more about Napolitano in the Spring 2009 and Spring 2010 Santa Clara Magazine.

Read more about her new role in California at the San Jose Mercury News.