WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama has picked top national security aide Denis McDonough as his next chief of staff.  McDonough is a Stillwater native and a graduate of St. John's University.  He also played football for the Johnnies.

Obama will announce McDonough's appointment from the White House Friday. McDonough will take over the key West Wing role from Jack Lew, Obama's nominee for Treasury secretary.

McDonough has long advised Obama on foreign policy, most recently serving as his deputy national security adviser. During his four years at the White House, McDonough has emerged as one of the president's most trusted advisers.

Saint John's University President Michael Hemesath released the following statement about the appointment of SJU alumnus Denis McDonough as White House chief of staff:

"The Saint John's community is extremely proud of the public service of our alumnus Denis McDonough '92. We applaud President Barack Obama's selection of Denis as his new chief of staff. We are absolutely confident that Denis will serve with the integrity and character he has demonstrated throughout time at Saint John's University and beyond. He follows an esteemed line of Johnnies in public service including, among others, Senators Eugene McCarthy and David Durenburger and Representative Mark Kennedy. Denis's professional success is further evidence that a Benedictine liberal arts education is superb preparation for leadership and service at the highest levels of public life, be that in the public sector, the business community or the world of non-profits. We wish Denis all the best in his new role."

McDonough graduated summa cum laude from SJU in 1992 with degrees in history and Spanish and played on the Johnnie football team for John Gagliardi. McDonough was a 2012 recipient of an Alumni Achievement Award from SJU.

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