One of the most powerful women in the world is making a stop at UCLA next month. Janet Napolitano, secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security, will deliver a public lecture on April 16 at Korn Convocation Hall at 5 p.m. Registration for the event, which is sponsored by the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, is now open.
“Janet Napolitano has had a distinguished career in public service,” says Kal Raustiala, director of the Burkle Center. “In her current position as secretary of Homeland Security, she plays a pivotal role in our nation’s approach to terrorism, disaster response and many other aspects of our security.”
Napolitano is the third person – and the only woman – to have held the position of secretary. Appointed by President Barack Obama in January 2009, she leads the U.S’s collective efforts to secure the country from threats ranging from terrorism to natural disasters.
“Los Angeles has long been on the frontlines of these issues — from the LAX bombing plot to our frequent earthquakes and fires — so it is especially important and exciting to have Secretary Napolitano here on campus,” says Raustiala.
To counter the threat of terrorism, Napolitano has forged new partnerships with international allies and expanded information sharing with federal, state and local law enforcement. This includes the initiation of a new, more strategic course to strengthen security along the southwest border of the United States, while working closely with Mexico to combat violent international drug cartels. She has also bolstered the nation's ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters.
Prior to becoming secretary, Napolitano was in her second term as governor of Arizona and was recognized as a national leader on homeland security, border security and immigration. She was the first woman to chair the National Governors Association and was named one of the top five governors in the country by Time Magazine. Napolitano was also the first female attorney general of Arizona and served as U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona. In 2011, Napolitano was ranked 15th in Forbes magazine’s list of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.”