Janet Napolitano: the Current U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano is most well known for being the current United States Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama administration. She was also the former Democratic governor of Arizona as well as the Attorney General of Arizona.
Early Life and Education
Janet Napolitano was born in New York City on November 29, 1957 in New York City and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1975 she graduated from Sandia High School and was also voted most likely to succeed.
She then attended and graduated Santa Clara University as valedictorian. After, she studied for a semester at the London School of Economics and later attended the University of VA School of Law where she received her Juris Doctor. Once completing law school, she worked as a law clerk in the 9th Circuit in the United States Court of Appeals and later joined the Phoenix Law firm with Lewis and Rocca.
Napolitano began her political career when she was appointed at the United States Attorney for Arizona by President Bill Clinton in 1993. At this time, she investigated Michael Fortier during the Oklahoma City bombing. She then ran for the position of Arizona Attorney in 1998, which she won.
In 2002, Napolitano decided to run for the gubernatorial election of Arizona. She narrowly defeated her Republican opponent, Matt Salmon who was a former congressman. This made her the third female governor in Arizona’s history as well as the first woman to succeed a female governor. In 2005, she was named one of the five best governors in the United States by Time magazine.
As a governor, Napolitano has set a record for the highest total number of vetoes issued, having 58 in a single session which was more than twice the previous years. She also set the all-time record with her 115th veto and left office with 180 vetoes. She won the gubernatorial election again in 2006, making her the first female to be re-elected in that specific office.
In 2008, Napolitano endorsed Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nomination for president and she was later named to the Obama-Biden transition Project Advisory board. She was then named as Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security, and was confirmed at the beginning of her presidency. Napolitano is the first female to hold this position.
Janet Napolitano is an extreme basketball fan and also plays tennis. Her other hobbies include hiking and whitewater rafting. She has previously hiked in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona and along with the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico. She has climbed the Himalayas and Mount Kilimanjaro. In 1998 she discovered she had breast cancer but has so far survived.