STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) -- President Obama's next chief of staff could be a man who grew up in Minnesota.
Denis McDonough is currently one of the president's closest national security advisers. People familiar with the White House thinking say Obama will likely pick McDonough, however an official decision has not been made.
The 43-year-old McDonough grew up with 10 other siblings and was an all-conference defensive back who graduated from Stillwater Area High School in 1988. He played football at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., graduating summa cum laude. He received his master's degree from Georgetown University.
McDonough would replace current White House chief of staff Jack Lew, the president's nominee for treasury secretary.
On Wednesday, Obama said he intended to nominate B. Todd Jones, Minnesota's U.S. Attorney, as director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Jones has served as the ATF's acting director since late 2011 while continuing to serve as the chief federal prosecutor for Minnesota. The former acting director of the ATF, Kenneth Melson, left the position in August 2011 amid controversy over a U.S. gun-trafficking sting.
MPR reporter Madeleine Baran contributed to this report