President Barack Obama has nominated former Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus to be the secretary of the Navy.
The White House made the announcement in a statement Friday.
The 60-year-old Democrat campaigned extensively for Obama last year. He was governor of Mississippi from January 1988 to January 1992. He also served as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1994-96 under President Bill Clinton.
Mabus served in the Navy from 1970-72 as a surface warfare officer on the Newport, Rhode Island-based USS Little Rock.
The secretary is the civilian leader of the service and is responsible for everything from recruiting and mobilizing to overseeing the construction and repair of ships, equipment and facilities. His nomination still must be confirmed by the Senate.