President Barack Obama will announce Denis McDonough as the new White House chief of staff, Miguel Rodriguez as his new top congressional liaison and other shuffling of his top staff Friday afternoon, a White House official said.
According to the official, McDonough has been one of the president’s most trusted advisers dating back to his work setting up then-Sen. Obama’s office. McDonough has most recently been an adviser on national security with roles in the president’s war policies, responding to natural disasters and repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
The White House aide also said McDonough understands the importance of reaching out to Republicans to get things done on jobs and the economy, health care, education, reducing the deficit or addressing climate change.
McDonough’s appointment has been rumored for weeks. He replaces Jacob J. Lew, the president’s nominee for Treasury.
Rob Nabors, who has played a prominent role for the president both as Lew’s deputy at the Office of Management and Budget and more recently as the president’s chief liaison to Congress, will get the title deputy White House chief of staff for policy.
Rodriguez will take over as director of legislative affairs.
There also is some maneuvering at the communications level.
Dan Pfeiffer gets a new title, senior adviser. Jennifer Palmieri takes over as communications director. And David Simas will become the deputy senior adviser for communications and strategy.
Other new posts include Tony Blinken as deputy national security adviser, Danielle Gray as Cabinet secretary, Katy Kale as assistant to the president for management and administration, and Lisa Monaco as deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism (upon confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director.)
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.