Janet Napolitano, who has led the Department of Homeland Security for the Obama administration since 2009, will leave her post to become the first female director of the University of California system.
Sherry Lansing, the regent and film executive who headed the UC system's search committee for the position, told The Los Angeles Times that while Napolitano's dearth of educational experience may make her an "unconventional choice" for some, the secretary is "the right person" for the job.
"She will bring fresh eyes and a new sensibilitynot only to UC, but to all of California," Lansing said. Also: money. In an era of tightening budgets, a former Cabinet member is the ideal choice for squeezing cash out of the federal government.
Napolitano's salary has not been announced, but she currently makes $200,000. Mark Yudof, the man she is replacing to oversee UC's 230,000 students, 191,000 faculty, and $24 billion budget, makes $591,000.
Napolitano, who will start her post at UC in September, called working with the Obama administration a "privilege." The president said in a statement, “The American people are safer and more secure thanks to Janet’s leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks."