By Jessica Yellin, Aaron Cooper and Tom Cohen, CNN
Washington (CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday she is resigning and will be nominated to become president of the University of California system.
In an e-mail to associates, Napolitano said she will leave the Department of Homeland Security in September. While her nomination must be approved by the university's board of regents at a meeting next week, Napolitano sounded confident of the outcome.
"Departing a job and community you love is never easy, but I am passionate about educating the next generation of leaders and the University of California is like no other institution in affording such an opportunity," her e-mail said.
She graduated from the University of Santa Clara in California in 1979 as its first female valedictorian.
Napolitano, 55, was confirmed as the nation's third homeland security secretary and the first woman to hold the post the day after President Barack Obama took office in 2009.