WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed Pentagon chief of staff Mark Lippert as the new U.S. ambassador to South Korea.

Lippert, 41, was a foreign policy adviser on Barack Obama's first presidential campaign. He also served as assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, and chief of staff for the National Security Council.

He served in the U.S. Navy in Afghanistan and Iraq, where he was an intelligence officer.

Lippert's appointment as ambassador to South Korea, a treaty ally hosting nearly 30,000 U.S. forces, was approved late Thursday.

He will replace Sung Kim, who was the first Korean-American to hold the post.

Kim is tipped to replace Glyn Davies as chief envoy to North Korea and also serve as deputy assistant secretary of state for Japan and Korean affairs.