Born: Nov. 29, 1957, New York City.

Hometown: Phoenix, Ariz.

Father: Leonard Napolitano, former dean of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. A native of Oakland who also attended Santa Clara University.

Mother: Jane Marie Napolitano

Siblings: Leonard Michael Napolitano Jr., Nancy Angela Haunstein

Education:

-- Sandia High School, 1975, voted most likely to succeed

-- BA, Political Science, Santa Clara University, 1979, first female valedictorian

-- Law degree: University of Virginia, 1983

Law Clerk: United States Appeals Court Judge Mary Shroeder, 1983

Partner: Lewis and Roca Law Firm, 1989-1993

1991 highlight: Napolitano is Anita Hill's attorney during Senate testimony against then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment while she worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

United States attorney: District of Arizona, 1993-1998, appointed by President Bill Clinton

Arizona attorney general: 1998-2002

Arizona governor: 2002-2008

United States Secretary of Homeland Security: 2009-2013

Member: Science Foundation Arizona

Former Chairwoman: National Governors Association

Former Chairwoman: Western Governor's Association

Hobbies: Hiking, reading, baseball

In her own words: at a 2011 speech to MIT students:


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My father is a Ph.D. in anatomy who worked throughout my childhood as a researcher and educator. Later, he served for many years as Dean of the University of New Mexico Medical School. My mother's college degree was in zoology.

Some of my most vivid childhood memories have to do with my father's life as a scientist. I remember all the Saturday mornings my brother and I chased blue-tail lizards around the mesa that surrounded his laboratory at the University of New Mexico, while dad was inside checking on his experiments.

Blue-tail lizards have detachable tails, and Dad would pay us a nickel for every lizard's tail we brought him. This was big money for a little kid. In fact, here at the Sloan School, you might even say we were actually pioneers in the "monetizing" of lizard tails.

My older brother received his bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering right here at MIT. He is a Ph.D. computer scientist at the Sandia National Laboratories site in Livermore ... My younger sister has a master's degree in audiology and has helped children who have received cochlear implants.

But I fell off the science truck ... and became a lawyer ...

Sources: Biography.com, Project Vote Smart, Department of Homeland Security, Google.com