WASHINGTON - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is resigning, to become head of the University of California system.
Napolitano, who is just the third person to head the department, made the announcement Friday. She will become president of the University of California, which includes UCLA and Berkeley, among other campuses.
Napolitano, a former Arizona governor, was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2008. She led the department through a series of policy changes with respect to protecting public safety.
Under her tenure, DHS implemented a wide-spread policy of using prosecutorial discretion in arresting immigrants in the country without permission. She said her department needed to focus its scarce resources on criminals and those who posed a threat to public safety and national security.
She also helped establish a plan to give temporary relief from deportation to thousands of young immigrants who arrived in the country illegally and who don't have legal status.
President Barack Obama issued a statement commending Napolitano for what he called "her outstanding work on behalf of the American people over the last four years."