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US Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough may become the next chief of staff following his nomination for the post by President Barack Obama on January 17.
If chosen for the position, McDonough would succeed Jack Lew, who Obama nominated to be his new Secretary of Treasury.
McDonough has been Obama's aide since 2008, when he served as his foreign policy adviser during the presidential campaign. He was involved in some of the administration's key decisions such as the surge in US troops in Afghanistan and the launching of commando raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
"The president knows [McDonough] well and trusts him," said a former Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller, who worked with McDonough on war-on-terror issues. "He’s demonstrated tremendous organizational ability. One of the key components of that job is that you have to make the trains run on time. That’s what he’s done."