Deputy National Security Adviser Is Returning to Duty With the Navy
Updated 1:15 p.m.
By Al Kamen
A senior Obama administration foreign policy adviser will leave the White House in the next week or so, returning to military service for another deployment as an intelligence officer with the Navy SEALs.
Mark Lippert, a reservist in the Navy, is the administration's deputy national security adviser for operations and serves as chief of staff of the National Security Council. Before President Obama took office, Lippert was his top foreign policy aide in the Senate.
Lippert missed much of the presidential campaign when he was deployed to Iraq for a year from 2007 to the summer of 2008. This time he's expected to be deployed for six to nine months.
In a statement, Obama called Lippert a "close friend" and said he "will always have a senior foreign policy position in this White House, when he chooses to return to civilian life."
Lippert's move sparked some movement at the top ranks of the NSC. Denis McDonough, who is now deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, takes over for Lippert as NSC chief of staff.
Ben Rhodes, who had been a top foreign policy aide during the presidential campaign and is now a White House speechwriter, will move to the NSC to take McDonough's job.
Nate Tibbits, formerly a top official with the think-tank Center for a New American Security and now in the office of presidential personnel, was named executive secretary of the NSC.
Posted at 9:51 AM ET on Oct 1, 2009
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