Denis McDonough, deputy national security adviser, has been chosen as President Obama’s new chief of staff, according to the White House. McDonough has advised the president on foreign policy affairs, and has been working for the president since joining his campaign in 2008.
Already a trusted advisor of the president’s, McDonough has been involved in the plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan, and also the killing of Osama bin Laden. McDonough will take over for outgoing chief of staff Jacob Lew, whom the president has chosen to head up the Treasury Department. Lew will be taking over for the outgoing Timothy Geithner.
“He’s been one of my closest and most trusted advisers,” the president said, continuing, “not just one of my closest friends [but also] one of my closest advisers.”
He also was described by the president as “indispensable.” So close was he to the president that he was in the same room when the raid on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan was executed.
Born in Minnesota and a graduate of St. John’s University, McDonough has worked in Washington for years after receiving his master’s in foreign service from Georgetown. He has spent time as an advisor to Senator Tom Daschle and as a senior fellow for the Center for American Progress. At that point he joined Obama’s first presidential campaign.
In other changes, McDonough’s former role as deputy national security adviser now belongs to Lisa Monaco, the Assistant Attorney General. The new deputy White House chief of staff for policy will be Rob Nabors. Jennifer Palmieri will be Communications Director, taking over for Dan Pfeiffer, and he will become senior adviser. That role formerly belonged to David Plouffe, the president’s campaign manager in 2008, who is leaving the White House after leading the president’s political strategy throughout his entire presidency.
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