President Obama announced Friday that he will appoint Denis McDonough as assistant to the president and Deputy National Security adviser, replacing former deputy Tom Donilon. Donilon recently vacated the post to replace retiring National Security Adviser Jim Jones.
"For years, I have counted on Denis McDonough's expertise and counsel on national security issues. He possesses a remarkable intellect, irrepressible work ethic, and a sense of collegiality that has earned him the respect of his colleagues," Obama said. "I know that Denis will be indispensable to our entire national security team as we continue to protect the American people, and advance American interests and values around the world."
McDonough's announcement comes as no surprise. His promotion lends continuity to the national security staff and he has the seal of approval from both Jones and Donilon.
McDonough has served as the chief of staff to the national security staff since September 2009. He was previously the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. Like Donilon, his boss, he came to the White House after working on Obama's campaign and his transition team, serving as a senior adviser on foreign policy issues.
Before joining Obama, he was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a Foreign Policy Adviser to Tom Daschle, D-S.D. He holds an undergraduate degree from St. John's University, in Collegeville, Minn., and a master's degree from Georgetown University. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife, Kari, and three children.