President Barack Obama is said to be considering new White House counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco to head the FBI, following last week's appointment of Julia Pierson as director of the Secret Service and an unnamed CIA agent
as the first woman to lead the agency's clandestine service, The Washington Post reported Monday.
If Monaco is selected for the post, she would be the first woman appointed to lead the FBI and it would bring the number of women serving in top security positions in the Obama administration to four, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Monaco was just appointed last month to replace John Brennan, now director of the CIA, as the president's counterterrorism adviser. According to the Post, some administration officials believe the job she holds now could disqualify her because Obama may not be willing to change advisers so soon after naming her as Brennan's replacement.
Monaco is just one of several candidates said to be under consideration to take over after FBI Director Robert S. Muller retires on Sept. 4. Muller has headed the FBI for almost 12 years. He was confirmed to the post the week before the 9/11 terrorist attacks and oversaw the FBI's development into an international counterterrorism organization.
Though normally limited to a 10-year term, the Senate has allowed Muller to stay on the job for two more years at Obama's request.
According to the Post, the president would like to fill the job as soon as possible so Muller's replacement can be confirmed by Congress before the summer recess in August.
In addition to Monaco, others under consideration include Merrick B. Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit; James Comey, a deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration; Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the former U.S. attorney from Chicago, who has become well-known as an independent prosecutor.
Obama has been under considerable pressure lately to name more women to top posts in his administration. In addition to the appointment of Pierson to head the Secret Service and the reports about Monaco as an FBI candidate, another woman was promoted last week to be acting head of the CIA clandestine service. Her name has not been released publicly, however, because she is still an undercover agent.
According to the Post, even though her appointment by Brennan marks the first time in the service's history that a woman has held the post, it may be not be permanent because of her ties to the CIA's detention and interrogation programs following the 9/11 attacks.
Brennan, the Post reported,
is trying to move the agency away from those controversies.
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