Updated 6:50 p.m.
Lisa Monaco, a top Justice Department official who has served as a federal prosecutor and as chief of staff to FBI Director Robert Mueller III, was nominated this afternoon to run the department’s National Security Division.
Monaco, the president’s nominee for assistant attorney general, would replace David Kris, who is leaving for a general counsel slot at a technology company in Washington state. Kris announced his resignation in January. Kris had held the post since March 2009.
Monaco serves as a top adviser to Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who named her principal associate deputy attorney general in January following his recess appointment to the number two slot at Justice. As the head of the National Security Division, Monaco would oversee, among things, the investigation and prosecution of cases that affect national security and foreign relations.
The White House, in announcing Monaco’s nomination, said she was an assistant U.S. attorney from 2001 to 2007 in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, serving on the Enron Task Force. She was first named deputy chief of staff to Mueller in 2007, later becoming chief of staff. Earlier in her career, Monaco was counsel to then-Attorney General Janet Reno from 1998 to 2001.
A Justice Department spokeswoman did not provide immediate comment about Monaco’s nomination.
Kris said in an e-mail this evening that Monaco is "exceptionally well qualified to lead NSD" given her experience as a prosecutor and in leadership roles at DOJ and at the FBI. "Her experience and the extraordinary capabilities she has demonstrated should provide NSD, and the Department as a whole, with very strong leadership going forward," Kris said.