||Janet A. Napolitano
|| Janet Napolitano born November 29, 1957 is the third and current United States Secretary of Homeland Security, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She is the fourth person (including an acting Secretary) to hold the position, which was created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. A member of the Democratic Party, she was the 21st Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009. She was Arizona’s third female governor, and the first woman to win re-election. Prior to her election as governor, she served as Attorney General of Arizona from 1999 to 2002. She was the first woman and the 23rd person to serve in that office. Napolitano is the 1977 Truman Scholar from New Mexico. Forbes ranked her as the world’s 15th most powerful woman in 2011.
In February 2006, Napolitano was named by The White House Project as one of “8 in ’08″, a group of eight female politicians who could possibly run for president in 2008. On January 11, 2008, Napolitano endorsed then Illinois Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for president. On November 5, 2008, Napolitano was named to the advisory board of the Obama-Biden Transition Project. On December 1, 2008, Barack Obama introduced Napolitano as his nominee for United States Secretary of Homeland Security. On January 20, 2009, Napolitano was confirmed, becoming the first woman appointed Secretary in the relatively new department. Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer became the governor of Arizona, as the state does not have a lieutenant governor.
Napolitano discussing security at a Super Bowl XLIV press conference. The Super Bowl is designated as a National Special Security Event by Homeland Security.
In March 2009, Napolitano told the German news site “Spiegel Online” that while she presumes there is always a threat from terrorism: “I referred to ‘man-caused’ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.” In April 2009 Napolitano, trying to defend her plans to thicken U.S.-Canadian border security, claimed incorrectly that September 11 attack perpetrators entered the United States from Canada. Her comments provoked an angry response from the Canadian ambassador, media, and public.
In response to criticism, she later said, “Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it’s been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there”. Though there has only been one case, that of Ahmed Ressam an Algerian citizen who was in Canada illegally.
Napolitano was a leading contender for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court when vacancies occurred in 2009 and 2010 but was passed over by President Obama in favor of Judge Sonia Sotomayor and then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan, respectively.