Who is Denis McDonough - Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Biography, Personal Life and Career
Who is Denis McDonough?
Denis Richard McDonough is a former White House chief of staff, serving in the Obama administration. He held this role from February 2013 to January 2017.
McDonough previously served as deputy national security advisor and chief of the White House national security staff for Obama.
He graduated summa cum laude in history and Spanish in 1992 from Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he played safety on the Johnnies football team and won two conference titles in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Family Life of Denis McDonough
He was one of eleven children born to William and Kathleen McDonough.
Who Is Denis McDonough's Wife?
His wife is Kari McDonough
Denis McDonough is nominated as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs
|Photo: NBC News|
President-elect Joe Biden is nominating Denis McDonough, who was President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff, as secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, a sprawling agency that has presented organizational challenges for both parties over the years.
Biden is continuing to stockpile his incoming administration with prominent members of Obama’s team, and McDonough is the latest choice, according to a person familiar with the selection. This person was not authorized to discuss the nomination before the formal announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Biden transition team made the announcement official in an email Thursday morning. A member of the transition team, speaking anonymously, said Biden chose McDonough because he’s a “crisis-tested public servant” with “the empathy, the character, the integrity and ethics, and the relentless work ethic the position demands.”
“McDonough helped lead the Obama-Biden administration’s work on behalf of military families and veterans and earned the trust of the president-elect as a first-class manager with the knowledge and vision to deliver results,” the official announcement said.
McDonough is expected to address the public Friday afternoon during an event where Biden will officially introduce him as his nominee, as shows stripes.
If confirmed, McDonough would become only the second secretary of Veterans Affairs who is not a veteran. David Shulkin, whom President Donald Trump nominated as VA secretary at the start of his presidency, was the first.
McDonough is an experienced manager who was chief of staff throughout Obama’s second term. McDonough was previously Obama’s deputy national security adviser, including during the Navy SEAL raid in 2011 that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and was a longtime congressional staffer, cites usatoday.
|Previously Obama’s deputy national security adviser - McDonough (Photo: The Boston Globe)|
McDonough was credited with helping Obama try to bridge divides on Capitol Hill, including around one of his most substantial second-term legislative achievements: the Veterans Choice Act.
Joe Chenelly, executive director of AMVETS, said the veterans group thought Biden would go in a different direction.
"We were expecting a veteran, maybe a post-9/11 veteran. Maybe a woman veteran. Or maybe a veteran who knows the VA exceptionally well," Chenelly said in a statement. "We are looking forward to hearing from President-Elect Biden on his thinking behind this nomination.", reports npr.org
Denis McDonough (Denis Richard McDonough) was born on 2 December, 1969 in Stillwater, Minnesota, United States.
He graduated from St. John's University. He earned his master's degree from Georgetown University before beginning his career in politics.
He worked in the U.S. House of Representatives in policy and leadership positions, including as a professional staff member on the International Relations Committee.
He was also a White House chief of staff and principal deputy national security advisor in the Obama administration.
Ballotpedia states an abbreviated outline of McDonough's academic, professional, and political career:
|2013-January 20, 2017: White House Chief of Staff |
2010-2013: Deputy National Security Advisor
2009-2010: Acting Chief of Staff of the National Security Council
2009-2010: Director of Strategic Communications for the National Security Council
2008-2009: Member of Barack Obama's transition team
2006-2008: Foreign Policy Advisor for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign
2004-2006: Senior Fellow for the Center for American Progress
1999-2004: Foreign Policy Advisor for Sen. Tom Daschle
1996-1999: Staffer for the House International Relations Committee
1996: Earned master's degree from Georgetown University
1992: Graduated from St. John's University
TimeLife of Denis McDonough
2019: McDonough is portrayed by Jon Hamm in the 2019 film The Report.
2017: In 2017, McDonough joined the Markle Foundation. The organization is putting a focus on boosting employment opportunities and expanding job training for Americans, it said. McDonough is coming to Markle as a senior principal, where he will help broaden the partnership between the foundation and other organizations, including governments and public institutions, aiming to "transform America's outdated labor market to reflect the needs of the digital economy," according to the organization. Markle has a public-private initiative called Skillful, which helps workers gain new skills through certificate programs, online training, community college, and college courses. McDonough will work to build up Skillful's partnerships — which already include LinkedIn, the state of Colorado, Arizona State University, and others — and develop a strategy to grow the organization nationwide.
2013: On January 20, 2013, at the beginning of his second term in office, Obama appointed McDonough as his Chief of Staff. In February 2013 McDonough urged lawmakers to quickly confirm Chuck Hagel and John O. Brennan to their posts in Obama's national security team, expressing "grave concern" about the delays.
2010: On October 20, 2010, President Barack Obama announced that McDonough would be replacing Thomas E. Donilon as Deputy National Security Advisor, who had been promoted to succeed General James L. Jones as National Security Advisor. McDonough was seen in photos of the White House Situation Room taken during the monitoring of the SEAL operation in Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
2007: In 2007, Senator Barack Obama's chief foreign policy advisor Mark Lippert, a Navy reservist, was called into active duty. Lippert recruited McDonough to serve as his replacement during Lippert's deployment to Iraq. McDonough continued to serve as a senior foreign policy advisor to Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign.
1996: He graduated from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service with an MSFS degree in 1996.
From 1996 to 1999, McDonough worked as an aide to the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he focused on Latin America. McDonough then served as a senior foreign policy advisor to Senator Tom Daschle. After Daschle's re-election defeat in 2004, McDonough became legislative director for newly elected Senator Ken Salazar. McDonough later served as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in 2004.
1992: McDonough attended Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, where he played safety on the Johnnies football team for Hall of Fame coach John Gagliardi. McDonough was a member of teams that won two conference titles in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. McDonough graduated from Saint John's University with a B.A. summa cum laude in history and Spanish in 1992. After graduation, McDonough traveled extensively throughout Latin America and taught high school in Belize.
1968: Denis Richard McDonough (born December 2, 1969) was the 26th White House Chief of Staff, succeeding Jack Lew at the start of U.S. President Barack Obama's second term.
McDonough was born on December 2, 1969, in Stillwater, Minnesota. He is one of eleven children of Kathleen Marie (O'Mahony) and William Joseph McDonough. He was raised in a devout Irish Catholic family, his grandparents having immigrated from Connemara Gaeltacht.
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