WASHINGTON –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 as she prepares to step down later today:
“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 while dealing with a constrained fiscal environment. During her tenure as Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet has made real progress on many fronts in the department – from gains in our border and aviation security to making strides in improving our nation’s preparedness for, response to, and recovery from both natural and man-made disasters. Her leadership was part of the driving force behind building up the Department’s cybersecurity capabilities, and propelled the Department to become the federal government’s leader in protecting our critical infrastructure and federal networks. Just as important, Janet led the Department in making great strides in strengthening the management of the Department and today, thanks to her leadership, the Department is close to the goal of achieving a clean audit for the first time in its history. Furthermore, she has improved the Department’s oversight of major acquisitions– all the while balancing the budget challenges facing our nation and government agencies.
“Even though she had one of the toughest jobs in government, she helped build a more cohesive Department of Homeland Security. I’d like to sincerely thank her for her selfless service throughout her tenure as Secretary and her decades of public service. 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 system. Our loss is certainly their gain. Her legacy will live on at the Department; she leaves a department that is more effective and more efficient for her successor and future generations of DHS employees.
“The Department certainly has big shoes to fill in Janet’s absence. I am confident, though, that President Obama will quickly nominate a qualified, effective candidate to pick up where Janet has left off and continue moving this important Department forward. I will work with Dr. Coburn and other members of our committee to ensure that whomever the President nominates will receive a swift but thorough confirmation process."