CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell has announced his retirement, making way for the first woman to take the job. Avril Haines, 43, is a White House lawyer who has worked in the State Department and Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She hasn't worked in an intelligence post before, Bloomberg notes, but her work at the White House has been steeped in intelligence-related matters, the New York Times reports. President Obama had initially nominated her to the post of State Department legal adviser; she would have been the first woman in that job, too, the Times notes.
Morell, for his part, was involved in the drafting of White House talking points on Benghazi. He's leaving to spend more time with his family, he says, though he will also join the President's Intelligence Advisory Board. "Whenever someone involved in the rough and tumble of Washington decides to move on, there is speculation ... about the 'real reason,'" Morell says. "But when I say that it is time for my family, nothing could be more real than that." (Odd aside about his successor: The Daily Beast reports that Haines co-owned a Baltimore bookstore in her 20s, and the store hosted regular "Erotica Nights," during which she would do readings.)