President George W Bush has nominated Vice Adm (retd) John Redd, who served as executive director of the presidential commission on intelligence, as the chief of the newly formed US counterterrorism center.
Redd, 60, will run the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Virginia, created by Congress and a presidential order, to pool and analyse information about terrorist threats.
The Center must begin operations by Friday.
When the Senate confirms Redd as expected, the vice admiral of the navy will replace John Brennan, a longtime CIA official who has been the acting director, who said last month he would step down after a replacement was announced.
Redd had held an operations post in Iraq and was executive director of the Silberman-Robb presidential commission on intelligence.
Bush also called on Congress to renew the USA Patriot Act to help law enforcement officials such as Redd hunt and capture terrorists.
Visiting the new Northern Virginia facility, Bush said Redd is a "man of enormous experience" who will be a "good boss" at the NCTC.
Redd is a 36-year Navy veteran and was commander of the Navy's Fifth Fleet in the Middle East. Most recently, he served as deputy administrator and chief operating officer of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad.
But he has never been involved in counter terrorism operations.
The NCTC, which is part of the domain of John D Negroponte, the new director of national intelligence, will draw information from 26 different government networks, including air-traffic control.
Its analysts come from the CIA, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as other agencies.
The CIA, the FBI and other law-enforcement units are expected to carry out anti-terrorism operations based on information collected by the NCTC.