California Sen. Dianne Feinstein will become the first woman to chair the Senate Intelligence Committee.
California's senior senator was tapped for the key post Monday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The move was expected. Feinstein, a Democrat, will replace Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia. Reid's recommendations to the Senate Democratic Steering committee will be formally approved when the 111th session of the Senate convenes in January.
Feinstein had chaired the lower-profile Rules and Administration Committee, which oversees Senate procedures and federal voting issues, and has served on the Intelligence Committee for eight years.