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Dina Powell at the White House. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

Dr. Nadia Schadlow, who currently works on strategy on the staff of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, is the likely successor to Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy. Powell announced Friday that she will leave the White House early next year — the first in an expected wave of senior West Wing departures.

Why it matters: Powell was one of the few senior West Wing officials with previous White House experience, and the coming brain drain could leave President Trump with key holes. The administration has always been thinly staffed, and bringing top people in will be hard, in part because of uncertainty surrounding the Mueller investigation.

Why she's leaving: Powell told me she had committed to one year of service, and her family remained in New York.

Defense Secretary James Mattis said in a statement: "With the pending departure of Dina Powell, we are losing an invaluable member of the President's national security team. I personally appreciate Dina's partnership and contributions to the mission of the Department of Defense."

Why she matters: Powell was among the aides who communicated well with Trump, and accompanied him on all his overseas trips. She helped with White House efforts on a restart of Middle East policy.

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Go deeper

Don McGahn agrees to closed-door interview with House panel on Russia report

Former White House counsel Don McGahn during a discussion at the NYU Global Academic Center in Washington, D.C., in 2019. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former White House counsel Don McGahn agreed Wednesday to speak with the House Judiciary Committee about the Russia investigation that led to the impeachment trial of former President Trump — with certain conditions, per a court filing.

Why it matters: The agreement ends a two-year standoff after McGahn, a key player in former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, repeatedly refused to agree to a subpoena for testimony — resulting in the matter being taken to court.

Updated 28 mins ago - World

Over 70 dead in worst bombardments between Israel and Hamas for years

Smoke and flames rise after Israeli fighter jets conducted airstrikes in Gaza on May 13, 2021. Israeli forces said on May 12 they had killed a senior Hamas commander and bombed several buildings. Gaza's health ministry has said children are among the dead. Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At least 67 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed in fighting between Israel's military and Hamas since Monday, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 come days after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.

1 hour ago - Health

COVID-19 pandemic was "preventable disaster," WHO-commissioned report says

A health worker gives a COVID-19 test to a woman in Oakland, California. Photo: Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group

The COVID-19 pandemic was a "preventable disaster" that exposed weak links "at every point" of the preparedness process, according to a World Health Organization-commissioned report published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The report by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response criticized governments worldwide for being unprepared for the pandemic despite the prevalence of past "global health threats," such as Ebola, Zika, and SARS outbreaks.