President Barack Obama formally announced James Comey as his pick to head the FBI Friday.
Obama said that Comey is committed to both security and the rights of individuals.
The former federal prosecutor served as Deputy Attorney General during George W. Bush's presidency from 2003 to 2005.
His tenure may be most remembered for his efforts to block the White House from re-authorizing a no-warrant wiretapping program.
"I'm confident that Jim will be a leader who understands how to keep America safe and stay true to our founding ideals, no matter what the future may bring," Obama said.
"The words to describe how excited I am to return to the Department of Justice, and especially to get to work again with the people of the FBI," Comey said. "They are men and women who have devoted their lives to serving and protecting others, and I simply can't wait to be their colleague again."
If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Comey will replace Robert Mueller, who plans to submit his resignation in September.