James Steinberg, Former Clinton Aide, Tapped For Deputy Secretary of State

WASHINGTON — A former top aide to ex-President Bill Clinton will be tapped as Hillary Rodham Clinton's No. 2 at the State Department this week, The Associated Press has learned.

James Steinberg, a deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration, will be nominated for deputy secretary of state as early as Tuesday, people familiar with President-elect Barack Obama's transition team said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the appointment is not yet public.

In an e-mail sent late Monday to staff at the University of Texas at Austin, where he serves as dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, Steinberg said he welcomed the job. Steinberg previously had been mentioned as a choice for Obama's national security adviser, which now will be taken by retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones.

"Tomorrow (Tuesday) I anticipate that President-elect Obama will announce his intention to nominate me for the position of deputy secretary of state, an honor for which I am deeply appreciative," Steinberg said in his message to faculty and students.

"If confirmed (by the Senate) it will be a great privilege to serve with President Obama, Secretary of State-designate Clinton and the entire national security team at this time of great challenge but also of great opportunity for the United States and the world," he said.

Steinberg, a close and early supporter of Obama, has been dean of the Johnson school for three years after leaving the Brookings Institution in Washington, where he was vice president and director of foreign policy studies from 2001 to 2005.

From December 1996 to August 2000 he was deputy national security adviser to President Bill Clinton. Prior to that, he was chief of staff at the State Department and director of the department's policy planning staff.