Lisa O. Monaco has emerged as the leading candidate to run the Justice Department's National Security Division, two sources familiar with the situation tell NPR.
Monaco would replace David Kris, who retired last week to take a job in the private sector. The position requires Senate confirmation.
Monaco currently serves as the principal associate deputy attorney general, with a big role in helping to manage the Justice Department's daily operations. She has previously advised department leaders on national security issues and served as chief of staff to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.
Monaco started her career as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington, D.C. She also worked on the department's Enron Task Force, building cases against executives at the now defunct Houston energy company.
As chief of the Justice Department's National Security Division, Monaco would have the authority to sign off on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications and would oversee domestic and international terrorism cases. Spokesmen at the White House and the Justice Department declined comment.