Jeh Johnson is Obama’s Pick for Homeland Security Chief

The President will announce the former Pentagon lawyer as his nominee on Friday

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Jeh Johnson, general counsel for the Defense Department and co-chairman of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Working Group, speaks during hearing of the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill March 3, 2010 in Washington, DC.

President Obama is expected to announce his nomination of former Department of Defense senior lawyer Jeh Johnson as the next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on Friday at 2 p.m.

Johnson, who served as a critical advisor to Obama’s counterterrorism team, was responsible for prior legal review and approval of every military operation approved by the President and Secretary of Defense during his tenure as general counsel at DoD, a White House senior official confirmed to TIME. In Johnson’s most recent role at DoD, he supervised the legal work of more than 10,000 military and civilian lawyers.

Johnson served almost seven years under two administrations at DoD and is credited with co-leading the review and authoring the report which preceded the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in 2010. He’s considered one of the most trusted advisors to senior Administration officials.

He will replace Janet Napolitano, who stepped down in August to accept the role of president of the University of California. His nomination must be approved by the Senate before he can be confirmed.