Obama nominates Olsen for counterterrorism post

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 01, 2011 2:15 PM
Obama nominates Olsen for counterterrorism post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama nominated Matthew Olsen on Friday as the director of the National Counterterrorism Center to replace Michael Leiter, who resigned.

Olsen has been general counsel at the National Security Agency, one of the top U.S. spy agencies.

"Matt will be a critical part of my national security team as we work tirelessly to thwart attacks against our nation and do everything in our power to protect the American people," Obama said in a statement.

The counterterrorism center was created after the September 11, 2001, attacks to improve the sharing of intelligence among competing U.S. spy agencies.

Leiter had been in the job for 4 1/2 years.

The position requires Senate confirmation.

Olsen previously served in the Justice Department, and from 2009 to 2010 he managed an inter-agency effort to conduct a review of intelligence information on the detainees housed at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

(Reporting by Steve Holland)