White House national security adviser Thomas Donilon, principal deputy Denis McDonough, and Benjamin Rhodes, deputy for strategic communications, are likely to remain in place, at least initially, officials said.
Antony Blinken, Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, is said to be under consideration for Rice’s job at the United Nations, as is Samantha Power, the National Security Council’s senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights.
It was unclear who would take Brennan’s counterterrorism job if he leaves government or moves to the CIA. He was the top contender to lead the agency when Obama was first elected in 2008, but he withdrew under criticism, which he deemed unfair, of his role in intelligence excesses under the administration of George W. Bush.
Although that challenge is now seen as behind him, officials said he has not indicated whether he would like to be considered again to head the agency where he spent 25 years.
Michael Vickers, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, also has been mentioned as a candidate for CIA director.