U.S. officials say Defense Secretary Robert Gates has agreed to stay in his job when President-elect Barack Obama takes office in January.
Officials familiar with the discussions tell media that Gates will remain in the post for at least one year. There was no immediate confirmation on the reports Tuesday from the Obama transition team or the Defense Department.
Gates is a Republican who has served in President George Bush's administration for two years. The 65-year-old Gates also served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Mr. Bush's father, former President George H. W. Bush. Gates's appointment would fulfill a pledge by Mr. Obama to include at least one Republican in his Cabinet.
Observers say the expected appointment would provide continuity as the transition from one administration to another takes place and the United States fights wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The political news Web site, Politico, reported that the Pentagon job would be part of a group of national security positions being announced next week. Politico said retired Marine General James Jones is Mr. Obama's pick for White House national security adviser.
It is also being reported that Senator Hillary Clinton likely will be named as Mr. Obama's choice for secretary of state next week. The former first lady was one of Mr. Obama's Democratic rivals in the race for the White House.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.