Obama Picks Longtime Aide as Dep. Chief of Staff

Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 06:38 AM

By Elliot Jager

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President Barack Obama has tapped Anita Decker Breckenridge, 35, a trusted aide who has been with him since his days as an Illinois state senator in 2003 to be his next deputy chief of staff for operations,  Politico reported.

Decker Breckenridge, currently Obama's personal assistant with responsibility for scheduling, will continue to oversee Obama's schedule— helping to influence who and what he gets to see— as well as the logistics of intergovernmental relations.

Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said in an email that Decker Breckenridge "has impeccable judgment, extraordinary foresight, and the battle-tested resolve to help lead this White House for the next three years."

When the new administration came to Washington, Decker Breckenridge worked at the National Endowment for the Arts as chief of staff before moving to the White House in May 2011, Politico reported.

Decker Breckenridge replaces Alyssa Mastromonaco who is leaving to help set Obama's post-presidential library in motion. McDonough said that the president would continue to turn to her for advice.

Sources in Illinois describe Decker Breckenridge as passionate about her work, politically savvy, and a people person, according to Bernard Schoenburg, political columnist for  The State Journal-Register.

She graduated the University of Arizona in 2000 with degree in political science and began her career as an intern in the Springfield office of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, now the No. 2 Senate Democrat.

Her husband, Russ Breckenridge, was a political operative for former governor Rod Blagojevich. In 2005, he became Illinois liaison to the federal government and the couple moved to Washington. He now works for a labor association, the Journal-Register reported.

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