From Governor, to Homeland Security Chief, to Leader of 250,000 Students


NewCo Shift Forum — Speaker Spotlight

Running a school system with 250,000 students and 10 campuses is a tall order, especially for an outsider to academia. But Janet Napolitano has proven she’s up to the task.

Napolitano, President of the University of California system, is a former lawyer, Attorney General of Arizona, and was a two-time Democratic Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009. She also served as the Secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama until 2013, the first woman ever to serve in that office.

Named by Time magazine as one of the top five governors in the country, Napolitano has had a distinguished career as a politician and public servant. Though she’s now three years into her post at UC, she didn’t have prior experience in academia before taking the helm. Her experience as a lawmaker at both federal and state levels, however, lends itself well to leading a vast, complex, and world-leading organization like the University of California system, one with a variety of stakeholders with different needs and interests to consider (and no dearth of controversy, of course).

Credit: UCOP

Napolitano has run the gamut of public service leadership positions in our society, which makes her well suited to join us at NewCo Shift Forum and discuss the shift we’re facing as a society, providing a crucial perspective on creating public policy in an age of political uncertainty and unprecedented technological change.

Napolitano has proven her eagerness ability to tackle these challenges head-on. “We need to continue to evolve,” she said in a recent interview focused on challenges to the UC system. “If we just paddle in place, we’re not going to go anywhere.”

We’ll cover this, and more, in a fireside chat between Napolitano and John Battelle at Shift Forum, NewCo’s new executive conference covering “Capitalism at a Crossroads.” Joining 400 of the best minds in business, technology, and government, Janet will help us explore a new compact between business and society. We’re now accepting applications for delegates, and we’d love for you to learn more and apply.

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