President Barack Obama has picked U.N. ambassador Susan Rice to be his next national security adviser.
Speaking at the White House, Obama said Rice was a fearless and tough patriot who understands that there is no substitute for American leadership. He added that she is mindful the United States has to exercise its power wisely and deliberately.
“She’s reinvigorated American diplomacy in New York. She’s helped to put in place tough sanctions on Iran and North Korea. She has defended Israel. She has stood up for innocent civilians from Libya to Cote d’Ivoire. She has supported an independent South Sudan. She has raised her voice for human rights, including women’s rights. Put simply, Susan exemplifies the finest tradition of American diplomacy.”
Ms. Rice is under criticism from congressional Republicans as part of the investigations into the deadly attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. Ms. Rice said in television interviews the attacks were spontaneous, which later was shown to be incorrect.
Rice was considered likely to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of State, but she withdrew amid the Republican criticism. The post of national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation.
Rice is replacing Tom Donilon, who is to leave his job by early July. Donilon has been a key foreign policy adviser to Obama since he took office.
Obama said the American people owe Donilon an enormous amount of gratitude for helping to end the war in Iraq, finding and killing al-Qaida terrorist Osama bin Laden, and strengthening ties with America’s allies.
The president has nominated the Irish-born professor Samantha Power to succeed Rice at the United Nations. Her nomination goes to the Senate for approval.