Janet Napolitano Ditching Homeland Security for University of California

Photo: Pool/2012 Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is leaving her government job to become the president of the University of California system, the L.A. Times reports. She'll be the first woman ever to lead the state's ten campuses. The head of the search committee, Sherry Lansing, acknowledged that Napolitano, a former U.S. attorney under President Clinton and Arizona governor, is "an unconventional choice," but said, "She will bring fresh eyes and a new sensibility — not only to UC, but to all of California."

Napolitano, a strong advocate for immigration reform, is making the switch as the Senate's bill attempts to squeeze its way through the Republican House. In a statement about her departure, she said, "The Department has ... implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation's borders."

She's expected to start as president in September and will likely get a raise: As Homeland Security secretary, Napolitano makes about $200,000; the current president of UC has an annual salary of $591,000.