President Obama on Friday nominated former Deputy Attorney General James Comey as the next director of the FBI.

If confirmed by the Senate, Comey will succeed outgoing Director Robert Mueller and serve for 10 years.

Obama made Comey's nomination official at a White House ceremony.

"I know very few people in public life who have shown more integrity more consistently under pressure than Bob Mueller," said Obama, who was flanked by the outgoing FBI director and his prospective replacement.

"Now I think Bob will agree with me when I say we have the perfect person to carry on this work in Jim Comey, a man who stands very tall for justice and the rule of law," Obama continued, referring to Comey's height. He is 6 feet, 8 inches tall.

The president alluded the recent debates about counterterrorism and privacy sparked by disclosures of details of top-secret government surveillance programs.

"Jim understands that in a time of crisis, we aren't judged solely by how many plots we disrupt or how many criminals we bring to justice, we're also are judged by our commitment to the Constitution that we're sworn to defend and to the values and civil liberties that we've pledged to protect," Obama said.

"And as we've seen in recent days this work of striking a balance between our security but also making sure we are maintaining fidelity to the values we've cherished is a constant mission.

"That's who we are, and it is in large part because of my confidence, not only in his experience and his skill, but his integrity that I'm confident that Jim will be a leader who understands how to keep America safe and stay true to our founding ideals no matter what the future may bring."

The president concluded his remarks with urging the Senate to move forward on the nomination "promptly."

"This is a 10-year assignment," Obama said. "I make this nomination confident that long after I've left office, our nation's security will be in good hands with public servants like Jim Comey, and so I urge, as usual, for the Senate to act promptly with hearings and to confirm our next FBI director right away."