College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Janet Napolitano - A Future in Question: Higher Education and the Public Good

Event details

Date: Thursday 2 July 2020, 5pm - 6.00pm
Due to COVID-19, this year’s event took place as a virtual conversation that focused on the world’s immediate future and the role universities will and should play in shaping it.
The discussion included the Principal of the University, Professor Peter Mathieson, along with the leaders of King’s College London and Merton College, Oxford, and was chaired by Mukul Devichand of the BBC.

About the lecturer

Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano is the 20th president of the University of California (UC), and the first woman to serve in this role.
She leads a university system of 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program.
The UC system has more than 285,000 students, 227,000 faculty and staff, an operating budget of $39.8 billion, and two million living alumni.
A distinguished public servant, Napolitano served as the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013, as governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009, as attorney general of Arizona from 1998 to 2003, and as U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993 to 1997.
Napolitano launched initiatives to accelerate the translation of UC research into new businesses and inventions that benefit the public good.
She has also upheld the university's legacy of leadership on global climate action, putting UC on a path to 100 percent reliance on clean electricity across all campuses and medical centers by 2025.
In 2017, under Napolitano’s leadership, the University of California was the first university in the country to file a lawsuit to stop the federal government’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Napolitano earned a B.S. degree (summa cum laude in political science) in 1979 from Santa Clara University, where she was Phi Beta Kappa, a Truman Scholar and the university’s first female valedictorian. She received her law degree in 1983 from the University of Virginia School of Law.
In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal (Law), the University of Virginia’s highest external honor.
In 2014, she was appointed a tenured faculty member of UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.
In 2015, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2017, she was inducted into the American Philosophical Association.
She serves on the Council of the American Law Institute and is a board member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Napolitano is the author of How Safe Are We: Homeland Security Since 9/11, published in March 2019.


Image attribution


Janet Napolitano
Jul 02 2020 -

Janet Napolitano - A Future in Question: Higher Education and the Public Good

The ninth Fulbright Legacy Lecture at the University of Edinburgh was delivered by Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s event took place as a virtual conversation.