Obama names Denis McDonough chief of staff; Simas back at White House

SHARE Obama names Denis McDonough chief of staff; Simas back at White House
SHARE Obama names Denis McDonough chief of staff; Simas back at White House

Denis McDonough during the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. (photo by Lynn Sweet)

WASHINGTON-President Barack Obama will tap long-time advisor Denis McDonough as the new White House chief of staff on Friday, a White House official said.

McDonough will become Obama’s fifth top chief of staff, following Rahm Emanuel, interim chief of staff Pete Rouse, Bill Daley and Jack Lew.

David Simas is returning to the White House after departing for the Obama campaign in Chicago. Simas, who had worked closely with Obama top strategist David Axelrod, returns as the Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications and Strategy.

The official said, “Denis has been one of the President’s closest and most trusted advisors for nearly a decade, dating back to when he helped set up then Senator’s Barack Obama’s Senator office. He has relied on his intellect and good judgment ever since– most recently as a member of the President’s national security team. In that capacity, Denis has played a key role in all of the major national security decisions — from ending the war in Iraq to winding down the war in Afghanistan; from our response to natural disasters in Haiti and Japan; to the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

“As a veteran of Capitol Hill, Denis understands the importance of reaching across the aisle to make progress for the American people –whether it’s on jobs and economy, health care or education, reducing the deficit or addressing climate change.”

White House top staffers are also being reshuffled:

Rob Nabors – Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Policy

Tony Blinken – Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor

Danielle Gray – Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary

Katy Kale – Assistant to the President for Management and Administration

Lisa Monaco – Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (upon confirmation of John Brennan as DCIA)

Jennifer Palmieri – Assistant to the President and Communications Director

Dan Pfeiffer – Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor

Miguel Rodriguez -Assistant to the President and Director of Legislative Affairs

David Simas – Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications and Strategy

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