Janet Napolitano announced Friday that she is stepping down as secretary of homeland security to become the next president of the University of California system.
She will leave in September, an official, speaking not for attribution, wrote in an email to American Shipper
Her departure makes it likely that U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue without a political appointee at its helm for the immediate future because it is expected that the White House will want a new DHS nominee to have input in the selection of the CBP leader.
CBP has been led by career officials for the past 18 months.
Napolitano's office released the following statement: "For more than four years, I have had the privilege of serving President Obama and his Administration as the Secretary of Homeland Security. The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the frontlines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career.
"We have worked together to minimize threats of all kinds to the American public. The department has improved the safety of travelers; implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation’s borders; worked with states to build resiliency and make our nation’s emergency and disaster response capabilities more robust; and partnered with the private sector to improve our cybersecurity." - Eric Kulisch