Donilon told the Biden transition team “a while ago” that he was not ready to go back into government right now, one of the sources said.
Though Donilon worked more closely with Biden and his team during the Obama administration, his potential role in the incoming administration wouldn’t have come without its own complications.
As a manager, he was known for creating an intense and tough work environment. Before joining the Obama administration, Donilon was a top Fannie Mae executive for six years during the housing boom, leaving before the company imploded and was forced to pay $400 million to the federal government for misstated earnings during his time there.
Since his time in the Obama administration, Donilon has worked for the financial firm BlackRock.
CNN reported last week that former acting CIA Director Michael Morell is among those under consideration for the post. Morell isn’t known to have a close relationship with Biden but is a 30-year veteran of the CIA and well-respected by the agency rank and file.
This story has been updated with additional information about Donilon.