Chairman Carper: Napolitano Led DHS with Dedication, Expertise, and Vision

WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement thanking Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napolitano for her service. Earlier today, Secretary Napolitano announced her decision to step down from the Department of Homeland Security:

“For over four years, Janet Napolitano has led the Department of Homeland Security with dedication, expertise, and vision. Her leadership has been instrumental in carrying out the Department’s mission to protect and secure all Americans, and has made us safer as a nation as a result. She led during a time of many challenges to our homeland– from weather-related disasters to threats to our national security – all the while dealing with a constrained fiscal environment. Even though she had one of the toughest jobs in government, she helped build one cohesive Department of Homeland Security. I’d like to sincerely thank her for her selfless service throughout her role as Secretary and her decades of public service, including her time as Governor of the state of Arizona.

“During her tenure as Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet made real progress on many fronts in the new agency. She was instrumental in getting DHS to enhance its information sharing and pre-screening programs to continue to build on the gains in security we have made since the September 11.  She also made strides in improving our nation’s preparedness for, response to, and recovery from both natural and man-made disasters. We saw the results of her work in the response to major disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and the recent Boston bombings. Her leadership was also the driving force behind building up the Department’s cyber capabilities, and propelled the Department to become the federal government’s leader in protecting our critical infrastructure and federal networks.

“Since 2009, Janet also oversaw the Department’s implementation of a number of programs that have enhanced security at our borders and ports of entry. For example, she helped lead the deployment of record numbers of Border Patrol agents, fencing, and technology to better security our nation’s borders and ports of entry. I had the opportunity to see these advancements first hand with Janet during a visit to the Arizona border earlier this year. There’s no doubt her vast experience as a governor of a border state helped boost the strategic and targeted improvements we’ve made to our border over the past five years.

“Just as important, Janet led the Department in making great strides in strengthening the management of the Department. With her Deputy Jane Holl Lute, she was instrumental in driving the great progress DHS has made in addressing, and significantly narrowing, the operational and management issues that have been designated as "high risk" by the Government Accountability Office. Today, thanks to her leadership, the Department is close to the goal of achieving a clean audit. Furthermore, she improved the Department’s oversight of its major acquisitions, including the St. Elizabeths campus – all the while balancing the tough budget challenges facing our nation and government agencies.

“I’ve know Janet for a long time from our time as governors, and it has been a privilege to serve and work with Janet closely since I became chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  We’ll miss her leadership and partnership, but I wish her well in her exciting new role as President of the University of California school system. Our loss is certainly their gain. Her legacy will live on at the Department; she has left a strong path for her successor and future generations of DHS employees.”