It’s the latest example of how Biden is turning to a trusted set of advisers to surround him in his new administration. As VA secretary, McDonough would be inheriting one of the most challenging agencies in the government, so Biden was looking “for a seasoned hand, who knows the government well,” a person familiar with the decision says.
Several veterans groups were hoping Biden would choose a veteran of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. McDonough did not serve in the military, but rather has long experience navigating bureaucracies on Capitol Hill and at the White House.
McDonough, a native of Minnesota who served as chief of staff during Obama’s entire second term, also worked as deputy national security adviser. He developed a close relationship with Biden during both positions. He is a devout Catholic, a bond he also shares with Biden.
The announcement of McDonough is forthcoming. He could join other prospective Cabinet nominees on Friday in Wilmington, Delaware, but timing is still being worked out.