Stillwater's Denis McDonough appointed Obama's Chief of Staff - KMSP-TV

Stillwater's Denis McDonough appointed Obama's Chief of Staff

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STILLWATER, Minn. (KMSP) -

President Obama has appointed trusted adviser, national security expert and Stillwater, Minn. native Denis McDonough as his fifth Chief of Staff.

McDonough will take over the key West Wing role from Jack Lew, the president's nominee for Treasury Secretary.

McDonough, 43, has advised the president on foreign policy for nearly a decade, most recently serving as deputy national security adviser.

Announcing his choice on Friday from the East Room of the White House, Obama said McDonough was not only one of his closest advisers but also one of his closest friends, recounting the "countless crises" during the first term that had engrossed McDonough at all hours of the day.

"I've actually begun to think that Denis likes pulling all-nighters," Obama said to knowing laughter from fellow staffers in the East Room. "The truth is nobody outworks Denis McDonough."

McDonough's face may be familiar from a White House photograph of Obama and senior officials watching the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden unfold.

McDonough graduated summa cum laude from Saint John's University in 1992 with degrees in history and Spanish, and played on the Johnnie football team under John Gagliardi.

"The Saint John's community is extremely proud of the public service of our alumnus Denis McDonough," Saint John's president Michael Hemesath said in a statement. "We applaud President Barack Obama's selection of Denis as his new chief of staff. We are absolutely confident that Denis will serve with the integrity and character he has demonstrated throughout time at Saint John's University and beyond."

McDonough currently lives in Maryland with his wife Kari and three children.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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