University of California President Janet Napolitano issued the following statement today (April 30) regarding the passing of UC Regent Ellen Tauscher:

I was deeply saddened to hear of Ellen’s passing — a profound loss for California and the nation, and those of us who have been blessed to know her personally. A compassionate leader with utmost integrity, Ellen exemplified a deep commitment to public service, justice, and improving the lives and futures of others.

We were extremely honored and fortunate to have Ellen serve on the UC Board of Regents where her expertise and passion for quality education — in addition to her distinguished record as a seven-term Congresswoman — helped us navigate complex issues facing the university. Ellen became chair of the Board of Governors of Los Alamos National Security and Lawrence Livermore National Security, and her experience and knowledge helped support our national security mission and critical science initiatives. She was only two years into a 12-year term with the board, but we will feel her loss both professionally and personally in the years ahead.

Ellen was a close colleague and a dear friend — generous with her knowledge and her time, and a true example of grace under pressure. She was taken from us far too soon and will be sorely missed. My heartfelt condolences go out to her family and countless friends and colleagues who will continue to greatly admire her and remember her fondly.

More information on Regent Tauscher’s life and career can be found here.