Colin Powell plans to resign as secretary of state and has told the president he will remain in the post until a successor is chosen, media reports said Monday.
Powell's decision came amid a reshuffling among Bush's lieutenants. Also reported to be stepping down Monday were Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, Agriculture Secretary Ann Venneman and Education Secretary Rod Paige.
Powell, who was previously chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reportedly had long planned to hold the secretary's post for just one term.
Powell was the point man on U.S. diplomatic efforts to arrange international support for the war in Iraq, an effort that met with mixed success. His defense before the United Nations of the U.S. case for invading Iraq made him a lightning rod for criticism of U.S. policies, including the belief that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.