University of California System

UC System, UC President, Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano will be the new president of the UC system (photo credit: brainchildren).

The University of California system will have a new president. And this new president is a household name — Janet Napolitano. As you probably know, Janet Napolitano is the current U.S. Homeland Security Secretary so this marks a very high profile hire for the University of California system. Napolitano has served as the U.S. Homeland Security Secretary since 2009 and she is the first woman to lead the department, a department created after the attacks of September 11th. Prior to her tenure as U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, Napolitano served as the the 21st Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009. In 20012, Napolitano was ranked by “Forbes” as the twelfth most powerful woman in the world. That’s some distinction, right?

And just a few years back, in 2008, “The New York Times” listed Napolitano as one of the women most likely to become the first President of the United States. High achiever much? The New York City born Napolitano now follows in her father’s footsteps a bit as he was the dean of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine back in the day. The Santa Clara University graduate and University of Virginia School of Law J.D. will be making an interesting switch from counterterrorism to academia but, hey, why not?

According to “CBS News,” “The UC regents are expected to approve Napolitano’s nomination on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 10-campus university system has typically had leaders with backgrounds in academia or campus administration, but Napolitano’s background in politics should help the university system’s relationships with lawmakers, alumni and parents at a time of significant budget constraints. Her experience in anti-terrorism and disaster relief should also help the UC system foster its federally-funded research, according to the L.A. Times.” We have no idea how anti-terrorism and disaster relief correlates with helping with federally-funded research but we suppose it’s not too big of a stretch!

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