Ashton Carter, who served as deputy defense secretary under Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel, will be nominated for the top post at the Pentagon, according to reports.
Carter previously served as under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, and during the Clinton administration, was assistant secretary of defense for international security policy.
Hagel announced his resignation last week, but agreed to stay on as defense secretary until his successor is confirmed.
The path to nominate Hagel's replacement did not always lead to Carter. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was said to be considered for the job, as well as former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy. Flournoy removed her name from consideration due to family concerns.
Unlike his immediate predecessors, Carter has not served as an elected official nor did he serve in the military.