The US Senate has confirmed the appointment of Porter Goss as head of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The White House insists Goss is the 'right man' for the CIA
Senators approved his nomination by 77 votes to 17. Mr Goss is a former intelligence agent and long-time Republican congressman.
Some Democratic senators had argued that President George W Bush's choice of Mr Goss was partisan.
But the White House insisted that the nominee's background made him the right choice for the job.
Mr Goss, 65, spent 10 years working with US Army intelligence and the CIA, before entering politics.
He represents a Florida district and has served in the House of Representatives since 1989.
PAST CIA DIRECTORS
George Tenet, 1997-2004
John Deutch, 1995-1996
James Woolsey, 1993-1995
Robert Gates, 1991-1993
William Webster, 1987-1991
William Casey, 1981-1987
Stansfield Turner, 1977-1978
George Bush Sr, 1976-1977
Mr Goss replaces former director George Tenet, who stood down, citing personal reasons, before a bi-partisan commission investigating the 11 September attacks issued its report in July.
The panel blamed spy agencies, including the CIA, for failing to avert the hijackings and recommended wide-ranging reforms of the intelligence community.
Many of the recommendations have been endorsed by the administration.
The senior diplomat on the panel, Senator Jay Rockefeller, has accused Mr Goss of lacking the independence to restore credibility to intelligence agencies.
But Mr Goss has strongly denied he will politicise the job of CIA director.
He says he is looking forward to the challenge of the future and will focus on improving the CIA's human intelligence.
President Bush, in a statement released by the White House, said: "I am very pleased that a strong bipartisan majority in the US Senate today voted to confirm Porter Goss.
"He is the right man to take on the essential mission of leading the CIA at this critical moment in our nation's history."