WASHINGTON (AP) — Longtime Democratic Rep. Jane Harman plans to resign from the House and is in line to become the next president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

In an e-mail to constituents on Monday, Harman said she filed paperwork notifying House officials that she was in discussions to succeed former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., as the head of the center.

READ MORE: Jokic Has 49, Triple-Double As Nuggets Edge Clippers In OT

“I send this note because a decision is imminent and I wanted you to hear the news from me first,” Harman wrote. “This is an excruciating decision because the distinction of representing the smartest constituents on earth will never be surpassed — nor will my relationships with my exceptional staff and colleagues in Congress. But shaping and leading the Wilson Center is a thrilling new challenge.”

Hamilton stepped down from the position at the end of November, and the center’s board of trustees is expected to choose a successor on Tuesday.

The 65-year-old Harman told constituents that “should this opportunity come to pass, I would be required to resign my seat,” Harman wrote. “But please know that I would remain in Congress for some weeks and do everything possible to ensure an orderly transition to whomever is elected to succeed me.”

READ MORE: Lakers Blow Halftime Lead In Loss To Pacers

The center is an institute designed to bring leading experts on various issues to Washington to interact with policymakers.

Harman represents a Democratic-safe district that includes several beach front communities in suburban Los Angeles such as Venice and Redondo Beach. She was first elected to the House is 1992. After losing a race for governor, she regained the seat in 2000.

Harman is a leading voice for Democrats on intelligence and homeland security issues. She is a member of the “Blue Dog caucus,” a group of moderate and conservative Democrats.

“I have always believed that the best solutions to tough problems require a bipartisan approach,” she told constituents. “And bipartisanship is the center’s brand,” she said, adding that the position would give her a unique opportunity to involve political leaders and experts in debates over the most pressing foreign and domestic policy issues.

MORE NEWS: Grandmother Carrying Infant Allegedly Assaulted By Unhoused Woman In Venice

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)