Washington: US President Barack Obama is expected to nominate former Pentagon official Ashton Carter as US defense secretary, CNN reported on Tuesday.
Carter, a former deputy secretary at the Department of Defense, had been considered a leading candidate for the job to replace Chuck Hagel, who is resigning.
A Pentagon spokesman said he was unaware of a decision and referred reporters to the White House, which had no immediate comment on the report. A spokeswoman for Carter also had no immediate comment.
Other names have been circulated as a possible replacement for Hagel, including former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig and Kurt Campbell, a former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs who now heads the Asia Group, a strategy and capitol advisory group.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, a former general counsel at the Pentagon who had been believed to be under active consideration, took himself out of consideration, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Carter was the No. 2 official at the Pentagon from October 2011 to December 2013. Previously, he was the Pentagon`s chief arms buyer.
He also served as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy under President Bill Clinton.
Carter has bachelor`s degrees in physics and medieval history from Yale, a doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar, according to the Pentagon website.
Hagel resigned under pressure last week after less than two years at the helm of the Defense Department.