Report: Obama likely to name McDonough as next chief of staff

President Obama is likely to name Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough as his chief of staff, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

The AP report said a final decision had not been made. A report from The New York Times said that White House aides say they expect an announcement early next week.

McDonough would replace Jack Lew, whom Obama has nominated for Treasury secretary.

McDonough, a Minnesota native, is a longtime ally of the president, having worked as a foreign-policy adviser in Obama's Senate office.

In the first Obama campaign, McDonough oversaw the foreign-policy team, a role he reprised for the transition team. He has also worked as the communications director for the National Security Council, and later as the chief of staff to National Security Adviser Tom Donilon.

Prior to working for Obama, he worked for former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). His Capitol Hill ties could be an asset to the administration ahead of tough fights on the budget, immigration reform and gun-control measures the president is pushing. 

McDonough's appointment is also an indication that the president is willing to tap another high-profile white male to a top staff position. 

There has never been a female chief of staff, and the position was one of the few remaining for Obama to make history in his second term.

The president has faced criticism, including from many in his Democratic base, who have questioned his commitment to a diverse Cabinet after the president tapped Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) for State, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) for Defense and Lew to run Treasury.

McDonough would be Obama’s fifth chief of staff.

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