President Obama Names Denis McDonough His New Chief of Staff
On Friday afternoon, President Barack Obama formally announced that longtime national security adviser Denis McDonough will become his next chief of staff.
McDonough, 43, is to replace Jack Lew, who has been nominated to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary. McDonough most recently served on Obama's national security team, and played a key role in winding down the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, Japan. McDonough was also among the national security team in the same room as President Obama during the raid that killed terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
McDonough has worked for the President ever since he was a newly-elected Senator first coming to Washington. McDonough helped Obama set up his Senate after the electoral loss of his previous boss, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). Then during Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, he became a foreign policy adviser and joined the White House staff following the president's election.
In a news conference held today in the East Room of the White House, the Obama said:
"He's been one of my closest and most trusted advisers."
He added that McDonough is "not just one of my closest friends [but also] one of my closest advisers." The president also referred to him as "indispensible" and as someone who "understands the importance of reaching across the aisle."
McDonough will become Obama's fifth chief of staff. Those who came before her were Rahm Emanuel, William Daley, Pete Rouse, and Lew.
Other staff changes at the White House today were also announced.
David Plouffe's final day at the White House is today. He was Obama's campaign manager in 2008 and has had a key role in politics and policies since. Dan Pfieffer, currently Obama's communications director, will be promoted to Plouffe's position as assistant to the president and senior adviser.
Rob Nabors, Obama's director of legislative affairs who negotiated with Republicans in Congress on the fiscal cliff issue, will now be promoted to deputy White House chief of staff for policy.
Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco has been promoted to deputy national security adviser.