CIA official moving to National Security Council

President Obama announced Thursday that he was naming the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency as his next deputy national security adviser.

Avril Haines, the current no. 2 at the spy agency, will replace Tony Blinken, who was confirmed this week as the deputy secretary of State.


 Haines previously served as the legal advisor for the president's National Security Council, and will report directly to Susan Rice in her new role.

“A model public servant, Avril is respected across the government for her intelligence, work ethic, and humility, which she has displayed in positions spanning the three branches of government,” Obama said in a statement. “I have the utmost trust and confidence in Avril, and I know she will continue to play a critical role in my administration’s efforts to keep our nation secure and promote American interests and values around the world.”

Rice said Haines has been “indispensable in implementing the administration’s strategy to address the full range of threats and challenges to our national security.”

“Anyone who has worked with Avril can only be deeply impressed by her keen intellect, her intense dedication to serving the American people, and her proven ability to get things done,” she said.

Haines oversaw the administration's effort to reform its drone program, and worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry were members.

“I saw then that she had a first-rate mind and keen insight into the biggest national security challenges we face,” Biden said.