There had been talk about Senator John Kerry succeeding Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, but he may have another role.
Although Kerry is thought to covet the job of secretary of state, senior administration officials familiar with transition planning said that nomination will almost certainly go to Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
John O. Brennan, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, is a leading contender for the CIA job if he wants it, officials said. If Brennan goes ahead with his plan to leave government, Michael J. Morell, the agency’s acting director, is the prohibitive favorite to take over permanently. Officials cautioned that the White House discussions are still in the early phases and that no decisions have been made.