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Obama taps McDonough as chief of staff

- The Washington Times - Friday, January 25, 2013

President Obama will announce Denis McDonough, a longtime senior adviser, as his new chief of staff at a ceremony in the East Room in the White House early this afternoon, according to a White House official.

Mr. McDonough is taking over the key position left vacant when the president nominated Jack Lew to head the Treasury Department. He is one of Mr. Obama's closest and most trusted advisers, having served with Mr. Obama since he was first elected to the U.S. Senate.

"[Mr. Obama] has relied on his intellect and good judgment ever since — most recently as a member of the president's national security team," the official said in a statement. "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.'"

In addition to the announcement about Mr. McDonough, the White House announced a reshuffling of nine aides to different positions in the White House.

Rob Nabors, the White House director of legislative affairs, will become assistant to the president and deputy White House chief of staff for policy.

Tony Blinken, the national security adviser to Vice President Joseph R. Biden, will become assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser.

Danielle Gray, who has served as White House counsel, will become assistant to the president and Cabinet secretary.

Katy Kale, who was deputy assistant to the president for management and administration, will move up to assistant for the president for management and administration.

Lisa Monaco, who has served as assistant Attorney General for National Security, will become the assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, upon the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director.

Jennifer Palmieri, who served as deputy communications director, will move up to become assistant to the president and communications director.

Dan Pfeiffer, who was the communications director, will become assistant to the president and director of legislative affairs.

Michael Rodriguez, who served as special assistant to the president for legislative affairs, will be assistant to he president and director of legislative affairs.

David Simas, who served as director of opinion research for the Obama campaign and was formerly a deputy assistant to the president for special projects, will serve as president and deputy senior adviser for communications and strategy.

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