Susan Rice will replace Tom Donilon as national security adviser, the White House is expected to announce Wednesday.
President Barack Obama will formally introduce her in the role at 2 p.m. ET.
Rice has been at the center of a storm over the early accounts of the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which later proved to be incorrect.
Rice is currently the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
She dropped out of the running to become secretary of state in December – a post that was later filled by John Kerry – after criticism over comment she made about the consulate attack that killed four Americans.
Rice came under intense fire from Republicans for initially characterizing the Sept. 11 assault as a spur-of-the-moment response to a crude anti-Muslim film.
She complained about the “very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting and very disruptive” process of confirmation hearings.