New York federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch has been nominated by President Barack Obama to replace Eric Holder as US attorney general, the White House announces.
If the Senate confirms her appointment, Loretta Lynch will be the first African-American woman to head the US Justice Department.
Eric Holder, who resigned from the post six weeks ago, was the first African-American to serve as attorney general.
The White House said Loretta Lynch would be formally nominated on November 8.
Correspondents say Loretta Lynch, 55, is known for her low-key personality and has stirred little controversy during her two tenures as US attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
“Ms Lynch is a strong, independent prosecutor who has twice led one of the most important US Attorney’s Offices in the country,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.
Her nomination comes after Republicans won control of the Senate in Tuesday’s mid-term elections.
Loretta Lynch – a North Carolina native and Harvard-trained lawyer – was one of several candidates Eric Holder had recommended to succeed him.
She has experience in both civil rights and corporate fraud cases.
Eric Holder, 63, led the justice department for six years, earning praise from President Barack Obama who called him “the people’s lawyer”.
However, Eric Holder frequently clashed with Republicans in Congress over issues including gun control and same-gender marriage.
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