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Napolitano to resign as homeland security secretary

By By Jessica Yellin and Aaron Cooper CNN
Published On: Jul 12 2013 09:18:43 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 12 2013 09:42:05 AM CDT
Janet Napolitano

Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON (CNN) -

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will resign and be named president of the University of California system, she announced Friday.

She will leave the Department of Homeland Security in September, a source familiar with the decision told CNN.

According to the source, who spoke on condition of not being identified, Napolitano considered her situation to be a bittersweet choice because she loves her job but felt she had to take the unique opportunity offered her.

Napolitano, 55, was confirmed as the nation's third homeland security secretary and the first woman to hold the post the day after President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

"I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history, and I know the Department of Homeland Security will continue to perform its important duties with the honor and focus that the American public deserves," Napolitano said in a statement.

Prior to becoming secretary, Napolitano was governor of Arizona.

Napolitano was born in New York City and grew up in Pittsburgh, Penn., and Albuquerque, N.M., according to her bio on the Department of Homeland Security website. She graduated from Santa Clara University, where she won a Truman Scholarship, and was the university's first female valedictorian, and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Before she entered public office, Napolitano served as a clerk for Judge Mary M. Schroeder on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced law in Phoenix.

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