Denis McDonough

United States Secretary of Veteran Affairs since 2021

Denis Richard McDonough (born December 2, 1969) is an American politician. He is the 11th and current United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs since February 9, 2021. McDonough is the second non-veteran to serve in this position.[1] He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Denis McDonough
11th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Assumed office
February 9, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
DeputyDonald Remy
Tanya J. Bradsher
Preceded byRobert Wilkie
26th White House Chief of Staff
In office
January 20, 2013 – January 20, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJack Lew
Succeeded byReince Priebus
United States Deputy National Security Advisor
In office
October 20, 2010 – January 20, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byThomas E. Donilon
Succeeded byTony Blinken
Chief of Staff of the National Security Council
In office
October 20, 2009 – October 20, 2010
PresidentBarack Obama
LeaderJames Jones
Preceded byMark Lippert
Succeeded byBrooke Anderson
Personal details
Denis Richard McDonough

(1969-12-02) December 2, 1969 (age 54)
Stillwater, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Karin Hillstrom
EducationSt. John's University, Minnesota (BA)
Georgetown University (MS)

He was the 26th White House Chief of Staff from 2013 to 2017 during the Barack Obama presidency.[2]

In December 2020, then President-elect Joe Biden nominated McDonough to serve as the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs in his administration.[3] On February 8, 2021, the United States Senate confirmed McDonough to be Secretary of the VA in a vote of 87-7, with 6 senators absent. [4]


  1. Shane III, Leo (Dec 10, 2020). "Biden to name former WH Chief of Staff Denis McDonough as VA Secretary nominee". Defense News. Retrieved Dec 10, 2020.
  2. The Washington Post (2013). Denis McDonough to be Obama’s new chief of staff. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  3. Miller, Zeke; Pace, Julie (10 December 2020). "Biden picks former Obama chief of staff McDonough for VA". USA TODAY. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  4. "Roll Call Vote 117th Congress - 1st Session". US Senate. February 8, 2021. Retrieved February 8, 2021.