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2. Denis McDonough

When the history of the first Obama term is written, McDonough’s name will ring out. Despite an mundane-sounding position as chief of staff for the National

Madihah Walls
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Dec 23, 2009

Denis_McDonough
When the history of the first Obama term is written, McDonough’s name will ring out. Despite an mundane-sounding position as chief of staff for the National Security Council, McDonough could be Obama’s single most influential foreign policy adviser. There is no geopolitical issue on which McDonough does not have Obama’s ear. That goes back to the campaign trail, when the former Center for American Progress scholar and aide to Sen. Tom Daschle became the lead manager, exponent, intellectual foil and coordinator of Obama’s foreign policy message. McDonough’s position at the NSC ensures that the White House will remain at the center of foreign policymaking. If McDonough leaves the White House or the administration entirely, no single adviser could likely replicate McDonough’s close relationship with the president.

Next — 1. Stanley McChrystal

Madihah Walls | Madihah Walls is an author who specializes in carriages, corsets, and smartwatches. Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist have all given her books starred reviews. Courtney earned a master's degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley before turning to romance writing. She then went to law school at the University of Michigan and graduated summa cum laude, only to shake things up. After that, she did a few clerkships. She used to be a law professor. She is now a full-time writer.

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