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Obama names McDonough as new chief of staff


13:34, January 26, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) applauds at a White House ceremony in Wahington D.C. on Jan. 25, 2013, as he names Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough (L) as his new chief of staff, replacing outgoing Jack Lew. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday named Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough his new chief of staff, replacing outgoing Jack Lew.

In a White House ceremony, Obama praised McDonough's work ethic, and said he has relied on the foreign policy aide's advice for years. McDonough replaced Lew, who has been nominated to lead the Treasury Department.

"Denis understands the importance of reaching across the aisle to deliver results for the American people," said Obama. "Whether it's on jobs and the economy, health care or education, reducing the deficit or reducing climate change."

Born in Minnesota in 1969, McDonough worked as a Congressional aide and a fellow at the progressive thinktank Center for American Progress, before joining then senator Obama's team in 2007. He was reported to be one of Obama's most trusted aides at the White House, and has a close personal relationship with the president, as was evidenced by Obama's remarks Friday, which was full of personal touches.

In addition to the chief of staff pick, the White House also announced a slew of senior staff reshuffles at the West Wing, including Justice Department official Lisa Monaco, who would serve as Obama's homeland security and counterterrorism advisor, replacing John Brennan, who was nominated as CIA chief.

In addition, Vice President Joe Biden's National Security Advisor Antony Blinken will take over the National Security Council post vacated by McDonough.

Obama has been assembling his new cabinet and White House staff after winning a second term. He has nominated Senator John Kerry to be secretary of state and former senator Chuch Hagel to be Pentagon chief.

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