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Georgetown Alumni Tapped, Nominated for Top Obama Posts

January 25, 2013 – President Barack Obama today replaced current chief of staff Jacob “Jack” Lew (L’83) with another university alumnus – Denis McDonough (G’96).

Obama has nominated Lew to be the next U.S. Department of the Treasury secretary, a post subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

McDonough, a recipient of a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (SFS), has been deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration since 2010.

Denis McDonough Denis McDonough (G'96), seated fourth from left in the Situation Room in May 2011 tracking the mission to capture Osama bin Laden, is the fourth Georgetown graduate to serve as chief of staff to a U.S. president.

He is the fourth Georgetown graduate to serve as chief of staff to a U.S. president.

Lew has served in that post since 2012. Jim Jones (L’64) was chief of staff to President Johnson from 1965 to 1969, and John Podesta (L’76) served as chief of staff to President Clinton from 1998 to 2001.

McDonough also has served as head of strategic communications and chief of staff at the National Security Council.

He was in the Situation Room at the White House with Obama, vice president Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others during the mission to capture Osama Bin Laden.

Jack Lew Headshot Before President Obama nominated Jack Lew (L'83) to be the next U.S. treasury secretary, he had served in various positions at the State Department and Office of Management and Budget before becoming chief of staff in 2012.

“I am certain that Hoyas around the world join me in congratulating Denis McDonough. He has been and will continue to be an outstanding public servant,” said SFS Dean Carol Lancaster. “Pursuing such work is a Georgetown and SFS tradition of which we are extremely proud.”

Lew held various positions with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before President Bill Clinton (F’68) nominated him director in 1998. He served in that capacity through Clinton’s second term, and Obama nominated him to the position again in 2010.

Before returning to OMB, Lew was the chief operating officer at the State Department while serving as the first deputy secretary of state for management and resources.

Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor extended his “warmest congratulations” to Lew.

“Jack’s leadership and distinguished achievements exemplify Georgetown Law’s commitment to public service,” Treanor said.

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