NAPO Washington Reports

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Stepping Down

July 12, 2013

Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that she would step down to become president of the University of California.  Napolitano joined the Obama Administration in 2009, and was among the first-term Cabinet officials to remain in their posts into Obama’s second term.

In a statement released early this morning, Napolitano said that serving in the Obama administration has been a “privilege,” and furthered that “The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the front lines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career.”

As homeland security chief, Napolitano has been at the front lines on a host of contentious issues, from the immigration debate, to securing the nation’s border with Mexico, to the government’s response to natural disasters, including deadly tornadoes in the Midwest and Hurricane Sandy. Napolitano also played a key role in the Administration’s handling of the Boston Marathon bombings this year.

Administration officials declined to speculate immediately on a possible replacement, but two DHS agency heads who maintain good relations with congressional oversight agencies are seen as possible contenders to succeed Napolitano.

W. Craig Fugate, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, previously worked for two Republican governors in Florida as the state’s emergency management director. Fugate is well liked by the White House and has been credited by governors of both parties for revamping the once-troubled federal agency in the years since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Also, John S. Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration and a former deputy director of the FBI, has built good relations with Congress, despite objections over recent proposed changes to screening procedures at airports.

NAPO will continue to keep our members updated on potential replacements for Secretary Napolitano.  If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Nee at:

Text Source

Horwitz, Sarah, and Philip Rucker. "Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano Stepping down to Run UC System." The Washington Post. N.p., 12 July 2013. Web. 12 July 2013.