Duckworth, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2006, will be yet another Illinois resident expected to move to Washington to join Obama's administration.
On Veterans Day, shortly after Obama was elected president, Duckworth joined the then president-elect to place a wreath on a bronze memorial at Chicago's Soldier Field, a highly visible appearance that prompted speculation that she might be picked for a job in his administration.
Duckworth's name was also among those mentioned as possible replacements for Obama in the Senate.
After growing up in Southeast Asia as the daughter of a U.S. Army officer, Duckworth earned a master's degree in international affairs at George Washington University.
She enlisted in the Illinois Army Reserve in 1992. While piloting a Black Hawk helicopter north of Baghdad in November 2004, Duckworth was seriously wounded, losing both legs, after her craft was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.