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In midst of spy scandal, Obama to nominate new NSA chief

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U.S. President Barack Obama plans to officially nominate U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers to be the next director of the troubled National Security Agency (NSA) which is in the midst of a huge controversy involving Edward Snowden's leaks, according to the American Forces Press Service on Thursday.

Adm. Rogers if confirmed will replace Army Gen. Keith Alexander as director of the National Security Agency, as well as commander of the U.S. Cyber Command.

"This is a critical time for the NSA, and Vice Adm. Rogers would bring extraordinary and unique qualifications to this position as the agency continues its vital mission and implements President Obama's reforms," said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in a statement.

Hagel said he is confident that Rogers "has the wisdom to help balance the demands of security, privacy, and liberty in our digital age."

Defense Secretary Hagel also pointed out that Rogers is “a trained cryptologist” with more than 30-years of experience in the U.S. Navy.

Rogers currently serves as the commanding officer of the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and commander of the U.S. 10th Fleet.

The current NSA director, Gen. Alexander, is expected to retire in March, 2014. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Rogers will take over the currently troubled agency as the Obama administration has vowed to take some measures to reform its secret surveillance programs.

“If confirmed, Vice Adm. Rogers will be joined by an exceptionally able deputy director and senior civilian leader, Rick Ledgett, whom I congratulate on his appointment today,” Hagel said in his statement. “Rick brings outstanding qualifications to the job. And I know that both he and Vice Adm. Rogers join me in thanking Gen. Keith Alexander for his remarkable leadership of the NSA and Cyber Command for nearly a decade.”

Under attack from both the left and right of the political spectrum, President Obama promised to make some changes to the NSA's controversial surveillance practices especially after the NSA leaks by contractor Edward Snowden created a firestorm throughout the world.

Obama's proposals include pulling back part of the NSA's bulk collection of U.S. citizens' phone records.

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