Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced Friday that she would step down to become president of the University of California system.
Napolitano plans to step down in early September, according to two administration officials. A former governor of Arizona who had been seen as a potential Democratic presidential candidate, she will leave politics to run the nation's largest public university system.
Napolitano, an early political backer of Barack Obama's who joined his administration in 2009, was among the first-term Cabinet officials to remain in their posts into Obama's second term. She had given no indication that she would leave, although was seen a possible successor to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. should he depart.