United States National Intelligence chief James Clapper resigned on Thursday following a directive from the White House to all Obama administration appointees to submit their letter of resignation before January 20.
"I submitted my letter of resignation last night, which felt pretty good," Clapper said. "I've got 64 days left."
The retired three-star US Air Force General will stay on till President Obama leaves.
During his tenure, Clapper handled the re-emergence of Russian aggression, increased cyber and security threats as well as misleading a senate committee regarding federal policy on data collection of Americans, Reuters reported.
Director of National Intelligence has a six-year term and heads 17 intelligence agencies and is the president's principal intelligence adviser and briefer.
Trump's leading contenders for the post include Robert Cardillo director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and former deputy director of national intelligence unde Clapper, Trump aides indicate.
Other candidates include retired Lieutenant General Ronald Burgess, former head of Defense Intelligence Agency in Obama's first term and Pete Hoekstra, who chaired the House Intelligence Committee.