WASHINGTON (AP) -- John O. Brennan was headed for the priesthood when, while on a bus as a student at Fordham University in the 1970s, he stumbled on a recruiting ad for the CIA.

Now, after years of poring through intelligence, trekking with Mideast tribesmen and running some of America's most controversial and lethal counterterror missions, he's pursuing a calling with just as much responsibility and arguably a lot more stress as the nation's top spy.

Monday's nomination by President Barack Obama marks the second time Brennan has vied for the job as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

He pulled himself out of consideration in 2008 after being accused of supporting a terrorist interrogation program likened to torture.

The White House says Brennan has since helped end the harsh program.