James Comey, '85, and Lisa Monaco, '97, Final Choices for FBI Director

President Barack Obama has narrowed his choice for the next Federal Bureau of Investigation director to two people: a top White House aide and a former Bush administration official, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Lisa Monaco, the White House's senior counterterrorism official, would be the first woman to lead the nation's premier law-enforcement agency. Several people familiar with the discussions said they view her as having the edge to get the nomination. The other option is James Comey, a Republican who is best known for challenging senior Bush aides in 2004 over authorization of a secret government-surveillance program.

Ms. Monaco and Mr. Comey were interviewed for the FBI job separately by the White House last month, according to people familiar with the selection process. The exact timing of a final decision isn't clear, but White House officials are aiming to make the announcement in late May or early June, these people said. That timing stems from a desire to have confirmation hearings and a vote on the nomination before Congress leaves for its August recess. White House officials declined to comment or make Ms. Monaco available. Mr. Comey, through an intermediary, also declined to comment.

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