Santa Clara University


Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano
October 15, 2009
Mayer Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

What is the role for the Department of Homeland Security in our networked, 21st century world?  What kinds of threats does our country need to be prepared for? How can ordinary citizens become more involved in our national preparedness efforts?

Janet Napolitano, former governor of Arizona, heads the Department of Homeland Security. She was appointed by President Obama to be the third secretary of Homeland Security, a department created in the wake of 9/11. She is a Santa Clara alumna and was the valedictorian of the class of 1979. She is celebrating her 30-year reunion with her class on campus.

As Secretary, Napolitano manages a department with 225,000 employees and a $55 billion budget whose mandate is clear: to keep America safe. In the early months of her tenure, she has traveled to Pakistan, Mexico, Ontario and Ireland to drive security efforts in shipping, transportation, cyberspace, and border security.

“Security cannot be the role of the Department of Homeland Security alone. Everybody has a role,” she says. “We cannot do it by ourselves.”

As governor of Arizona, Napolitano was instrumental in opening the first state counter-terrorism center and led efforts to transform immigration enforcement. She established the Homeland Security Advisors Council. She was first elected as governor in 2002 and was re-elected to a second term.

She is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and served as a clerk to Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She later served as an attorney for Anita Hill, who testified during the Supreme Court hearings on future Justice Clarence Thomas, and, in 1993, was involved in the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing.

Read more about Napolitano in the July 24, 2009, U.S. News & World Report and the July 30, 2009 New York Times.

Please join us for a conversation on security and preparedness with Secretary Napolitano.