US President Donald Trump, flanked by Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy Dina Powell (L) poses for a picture with his National Security team to mark the 70th anniversary of the National Security Council, at the White House in Washington, US September 28, 2017.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)
WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump's Deputy National Security Adviser for strategy, Dina Powell, plans to resign early next year but will continue to have a role in Middle East diplomacy, the White House said on Friday.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Powell, a key player in US diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, had always planned to stay one year at the Trump White House and then return to her home in New York.
Powell could be one of several administration officials to leave at the one-year mark of Trump's presidency. Speculation has centered on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who officials say could be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and top economic adviser Gary Cohn may possibly leave also.
Powell's replacement is likely to be Nadia Schadlow, a National Security Council aide who has been working with Powell on a new US national security strategy expected to be released in the next couple of weeks, a senior administration official said.
Powell has been one of Trump's inner circle and a key aide to National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. She engaged in diplomacy throughout the Middle East with Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
"Dina has done a great job for the administration and has been a valued member of the Israeli-Palestinian peace team. She will continue to play a key role in our peace efforts and we will share more details on that in the future," Kushner said in a statement.
Trump's move to have the United States officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been denounced across much of the Arab world.
His team is working on a framework for a potential Israeli-Palestinian peace deal that aides say could be released early next year.