Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California system; former Secretary of Homeland Security and former Governor of Arizona. She was the first woman to serve in all three of these roles. 

"I’ve had great opportunities. I’ve been willing to take risks. And so I think that’s part of it. And just the willingness to articulate a vision and manage an institution to try to achieve at least parts of that vision."

"My parents were very influential. They were always encouraging. They were not helicopter parents by any stretch. It was, 'do what you want to do, but if you’re going to do it, do it. Put some energy into it.' I grew up in New Mexico, in Albuquerque, and was very active in Girl Scouts, and learned a lot of lessons. And, you know, when I was a little kid, I remember raising my hand. I’ll be the patrol leader. I’ll plan the cookout. I’ll do whatever. Those little things that creep over time, you just kind of get used to it. In fact, this coming weekend, I’m going to a camp reunion in New Mexico with a bunch of gals I was in Scouts with in the … geez, I don’t want to say how long ago. Early ‘70s. Long time ago."

"I don’t know if I’d call it an asset, but one of the things that happens is women who are in similar positions tend to bond with each other and form a group of women—mutual supporters, as it were. So we did that when I was attorney general and the female attorneys general around the country would get together for dinner, certainly when I was governor, the same things. We’d have these big national meetings and so all the governors are there and somehow we would find time to go off and have a meal or a glass of wine or what have you. When I was in the cabinet, the women who were in the cabinet, the senior women in the White House, would get together for dinner every six weeks or so just to talk. And I’m not sure that our male counterparts … I know they didn’t. And it wasn’t like we were trying to be a club; it was more like we enjoyed each other’s company. We were having similar experiences and sometimes we wanted to talk about things that maybe our male counterparts didn’t, and I think females are very good at forming those kinds of friendships and allegiances."

The Atlantic, Photo via Zimbio 

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Doris Fisher

Doris Fisher

Denise Rohan

Denise Rohan