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In a major shakeup of President Obama's foreign-policy inner circle, Tom Donilon, the national security adviser, is resigning and will be replaced by Susan E. Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations, White House officials said on Tuesday.
The appointment, which Mr. Obama plans to make on Wednesday afternoon, puts Ms. Rice, 48, an outspoken diplomat and a close political ally, at the heart of the administration's foreign-policy apparatus.
It is also a defiant gesture to Republicans who harshly criticized Ms. Rice for presenting an erroneous account of the deadly attacks on the American mission in Benghazi, Libya. The post of national security adviser, while powerful, does not require Senate confirmation.
Mr. Obama also plans to nominate a new envoy to the United Nations on Wednesday, but the name of the nominee was not yet disclosed.
A central member of Mr. Obama's foreign-policy team since he first took office, Mr. Donilon, 58, has exerted sweeping influence, mostly behind the scenes, on issues from counterterrorism to the reorientation of America to Asia from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
For Ms. Rice, the appointment amounts to redemption after she withdrew from consideration as secretary of state because Republicans threatened to block her nomination over Benghazi.
Mr. Obama steadfastly defended Ms. Rice, and after he nominated John Kerry instead of her, White House officials said she became the front-runner to succeed Mr. Donilon, who has been in the job since October 2010 and had been the principal deputy before that.
A Rhodes Scholar who holds a doctorate in international affairs from Oxford University, Ms. Rice began her government career on the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, later serving as senior director for African affairs from 1995 to 1997.
Source: NY Times