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Janet Napolitano Resigns: Who Will Be the Next DHS Secretary?

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano resigned today, saying in a statement that she would become head of the University of California educational system.

The question now, of course, is who will be nominated to replace Napolitano as the next Secretary of DHS? Our own Rich Cooper speculated on likely candidates before the 2012 election.

“For more than four years I have had the privilege of serving President Obama and his administration as the Secretary of Homeland Security. The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the front lines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career,” Napolitano said in a statement.

“We have worked together to minimize threats of all kinds to the American public. The department has improved the safety of travelers; implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation’s borders; worked with states to build resiliency and make our nation’s emergency and disaster response capabilities more robust;  and partnered with the private sector to improve our cybersecurity. After four plus years of focusing on these challenges I will be nominated as the next President of the University of California to play a role in educating our nation’s next generation of leaders. I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history, and I know the Department of Homeland Security will continue to perform its important duties with the honor and focus that the American public expects,” the statement concluded.

The question now, of course, is who will be nominated to replace Napolitano as the next Secretary of DHS? Our own Rich Cooper speculated on likely candidates before the 2012 election.  While some of the players may have changed over the intervening months, Cooper’s picks are not a bad place to begin the handicapping.