A person familiar with discussions on the matter says President Barack Obama will nominate former Mississippi Governor Ray Mabus to be the secretary of the Navy.
The person requested anonymity because the White House has not yet made an official announcement.
Mabus served in the Navy from 1970-72 as a surface warfare officer on the Newport, R.I.-based USS Little Rock.
The 60-year-old Democrat 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 campaigned extensively for Obama last year.