- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 18, 2014

President Obama picked CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines Thursday to serve as one of his top national security advisers in the White House.

Ms. Haines, 45, will replace Tony Blinken, who was confirmed by the Senate this month as deputy Secretary of State. At the CIA since August 2013, she was the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in the spy agency.

Avril has been a key member of my national security team since early in the administration,” Mr. Obama said in a statement, calling her “a model public servant.”

Avril is respected across the government for her intelligence, work ethic, and humility, which she has displayed in positions spanning the three branches of government,” the president said. “I have the utmost trust and confidence in Avril, and I know she will continue to play a critical role in my administration’s efforts to keep our nation secure and promote American interests and values around the world.

She previously served in the White House counsel’s office, and in 2007-08 worked on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under then-Chairman Joseph R. Biden.

Prior to entering government service, Ms. Haines ran an independent bookstore in Baltimore, where she occasionally led “readings of high-toned erotica over chicken tostadas,” according to a May 1995 Baltimore Sun article.

White House national security adviser Susan E. Rice said she was “thrilled” to have Ms. Haines working as her principal deputy.

Avril has been indispensable in implementing the administration’s strategy to address the full range of threats and challenges to our national security,” Ms. Rice said.

The post does not require Senate confirmation.


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