President Obama Picks a New Defense Secretary

Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama will name CIA Director Leon Panetta as his nominee to succeed Robert Gates as defense secretary, a senior defense official and another U.S. official said Wednesday.

Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, will be named to replace Panetta as CIA director, a senior defense official said.

Panetta took over at the CIA in February 2009.

Panetta, 72, was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton between 1994 and 1997. Previously he was director of the Office of Management and Budget. The California Democrat served in the House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993.

Before coming to the CIA, he spent 10 years co-directing a public policy institute with his wife, Sylvia.

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