Dec 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden picks Denis McDonough as secretary of Veterans Affairs

Picture of Denis McDonough
Denis McDonough. Photo: Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday announced he will nominate Denis McDonough — who served as chief of staff for former President Barack Obama — to serve as secretary of Veterans Affairs.

The big picture: McDonough is the latest former Obama team member Biden has picked for his cabinet and follows his selection of Susan Rice to head the Domestic Policy Council. She previously served as national security adviser and UN ambassador during Obama's presidency.

  • Biden also nominated former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack on Thursday as his secretary of Agriculture, a position he held during Obama's administration.
  • Other picks rolled out on Thursday include Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) for secretary of Housing and Urban Development and top congressional trade lawyer Katherine Tai for U.S. Trade Representative.

What he's saying: "McDonough knows the ins and outs of government, and if confirmed, he will pull every lever to deliver results for veterans and their families," Biden's press release says.

Worth noting: Prior to McDonough's position as Obama's chief of staff from 2013 to 2017, he was Obama’s deputy national security adviser, "including during the Navy SEAL raid in 2011 that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden," AP writes.

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