2017 - Denis McDonough

As White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, Denis McDonough held a position commonly known as the second-most powerful job in America.

Prior to leading the White House for the President’s second term, McDonough served as Deputy National Security Advisor and played a definitive role in shaping U.S. national security policy. Whether managing Russian aggression, facing new challenges in Asia, or handling terrorism and cyber-security threats, McDonough understood the global factors that impact modern organizations and helped audiences identify the risks and opportunities that lie ahead.

Upon McDonough’s appointment to Chief of Staff in 2013, President Obama said, “Were it not for him, we wouldn’t be as effective a White House,” additionally noting that he relied on McDonough’s intellect, judgment, and indispensable advice.

Prior to becoming one of the President’s closest advisors, McDonough worked as an aide to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and served as a senior foreign policy advisor. He graduated summa cum laude from Saint John's University with a B.A. in History and Spanish, traveled extensively throughout Latin America and taught high school in Belize. He graduated from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.