McDonough is deputy national security advisor and a trusted advisor to the president, particularly on matters of foreign policy. He joined the Obama team during the 2008 presidential campaign after years as a Capitol Hill aide.
The new job will broaden McDonough’s role in the White House beyond diplomacy and foreign affairs. He coordinated the president’s policy to scale back the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan and was involved in the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. He also dealt with political fallout after the U.S. diplomatic mission was attacked in Libya.
McDonough, a Minnesota native, graduated from St. John's University and earned a master's degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. He worked as foreign policy advisor for Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle and was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, before serving as a foreign policy advisor on Obama's first presidential campaign.
Obama will announce the new appointments at shortly after noon in the East Room of the White House.
Rob Nabors, the White House legislative liaison, will be named deputy White House chief of staff for policy. Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer will be named senior advisor, while Jennifer Palmieri will take Pfeiffer's title, the official said.
Staff writer Christi Parsons contributed to this report.