Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel issued a statement today strongly endorsing President Obama's selection of Susan Rice to be the new White House national security adviser. Hagel said he looks forward to working closely with Rice in her new role. "Susan Rice has been a very important leader on President Obama's national security team who has helped galvanize the international community to act on some of the toughest security challenges facing the United States," Hagel said. The defense secretary also praised Samantha Power, Obama's nominee to succeed Rice as United Nations ambassador. "She brings years of experience at the White House, in academia, and as a journalist to this critical position," he said.
Tom Donilon, who is resigning as national security adviser, deserves praise "for his strong leadership and tireless efforts," Hagel said. "For the past four and half years, both in my capacity as co-chairman of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board and now as secretary of defense, I have greatly valued Tom's intellect, skill, and dedication to an honest and open process that provides the president with the best advice on the toughest issues. I wish Tom and his family the very best for the future."