Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will replace Tom Donilon as President Obama's national security adviser, a senior administration official told CNN.
Rice, who has held the U.N. post since January 2009, had been considered a leading contender for secretary of state. But Republican-led opposition against her potential nomination spurred the ambassador to withdraw her name from consideration in December.
Critics faulted Rice for telling news talk shows that a September attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, originated from a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video. The Obama administration later said the violence was a planned terrorist attack. The raid left four Americans killed, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.
She was Obama's national security adviser during his first presidential campaign. Before that, she was senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and, from 1997 to 2001, assistant U.S. secretary of state for African Affairs.
From 1995 to 1997, she was senior director for African affairs on the National Security Council.