Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell resigned as a senior fellow at an institute within the Harvard Kennedy School on Thursday after Chelsea Manning was named a visiting fellow.

Morell said he could no longer be a part of an organization "that honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information by inviting her to be a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School's Institute of Politics."

The university announced Wednesday that Manning would serve as a visiting fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics.

Manning is a former intelligence analyst for the U.S. Army who leaked thousands of national security documents to WikiLeaks. She was convicted in 2013 for violating the Espionage Act, and sentenced to 35 years in prison, but former President Obama commuted Manning's sentence. She was officially freed in May.

The former CIA deputy director served on as a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International affairs.

Morell acknowledged the separation in institutions within the Harvard Kennedy School, but said, although the two are separate entities, the school's overarching decision to support Manning's "criminal path" he must resign in "obligation" to his conscience and the nation.