Homeland secretary resignation widens leadership gap; no permanent heads in 1 of 3 senior jobs

The leadership vacancy created by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's resignation is the latest blow to a department where nearly one-third of the heads of key agencies and divisions have been filled with acting officials or have remained vacant for months.

Napolitano's departure slated for September will create the 15th hole in the department's 45 leadership positions.

Napolitano's chief of staff and the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement are leaving this month. The deputy secretary, general counsel, heads of Customs and Border Protection, privacy, legislative affairs, intelligence and analysis and more are filled with acting officials.

This swath of vacancies raises questions about how a department depleted of permanent leadership could implement changes, particularly as Congress considers overhauling the nation's immigration system.