WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Intelligence Committee voted Wednesday to send the nomination of retired Adm. Dennis Blair as the nation's chief intelligence officer to the full Senate for consideration.
By a unanimous vote, the committee gave its approval to President Barack Obama's choice to be the next director of national intelligence. The Senate is expected to confirm Blair before the end of the week.
"As our next director of national intelligence, he will ensure this country continues to play offense against the terrorists that threaten our way of life," said Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri, the committee's ranking Republican.
Blair is a retired four-star admiral who served 34 years in the Navy and ran the military's Pacific Command. He is credited with overseeing successful counterterrorism operations in the Philippines during that time.
He faced little opposition during his Senate confirmation hearing last week. Much of the questioning focused on Obama's decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center and revise the CIA's rules for detaining and interrogating suspected terrorists.
Blair, 61, was a 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and attended Oxford University in Britain as a Rhodes Scholar at the same time as president-to-be Bill Clinton. He retired from the Navy in 2002.
He was the CIA's first associate director of military support and served on the National Security Council.
Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, the No. 3 official in the DNI's office, is serving as acting director until a new one is confirmed. Former Director Michael McConnell resigned Tuesday after the defense consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton announced that he would return to the company as a vice president.
McConnell left the firm in February 2007 to become the nation's second director of national intelligence.
The DNI office was created in late 2004 as part of the effort to improve intelligence gathering after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States and the faulty intelligence on Iraq weapons of mass destruction.
- CNN National Security Producer Pam Benson contributed to this report