Washington (CNN) - President Obama plans to nominate retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper to be the new director of national intelligence, a senior U.S. defense official confirmed to CNN Friday.
Clapper, now a top Pentagon intelligence official, would replace Dennis Blair, who resigned at the end of last month.
The announcement will be made Saturday at the White House, the official said.
If confirmed, Clapper will become the nation's fourth DNI in the last five years. The position was created after the September 2001 terrorist attacks to oversee the 16 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.
Clapper, who retired from the Air Force in 1995 after a 32-year career, served as head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency from September 2001 to June 2006. He has served as the under secretary of defense for intelligence since April 2007.
Some political observers have indicated that Clapper's prospects for confirmation on Capitol Hill, however, are questionable.