Biden chooses longtime aide who runs his Oval Office to be a deputy White House chief of staff

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has chosen Annie Tomasini, a longtime aide and close adviser who runs his Oval Office, to be a deputy White House chief of staff.

Tomasini has served the Democratic president as an adviser and director of Oval Office operations since he took office in January 2021.

Her “unparalleled knowledge” of Biden made her the obvious choice to succeed Jen O'Malley Dillon, who soon will join the president's reelection campaign, said chief of staff Jeff Zients.

“She knows how to get stuff done and works harder than anyone I know,” Zients said in an interview.

As one of three deputy chiefs of staff, Tomasini will add a new portfolio of responsibilities, including oversight of the president's schedule, White House personnel and operations on the 18-acre campus, senior White House aides said.

Steve Ricchetti, counselor to the president, said Tomasini has insight into what Biden needs and how it can be delivered inside the White House.

“She's a huge talent,” he said in an interview. “Amongst us all, I really do think she's indispensable here to how we function inside the White House.”

Others cited skills Tomasini learned in a different arena. The 2002 graduate of Boston University was co-captain of the women's basketball team.

"She's got the mentality of a female athlete: confidence, poise, command and competitiveness, but a team player,” said Susan Rice, who served more than two years as Biden’s top domestic policy adviser.

NCAA President Charlie Baker, a former Massachusetts governor, recalled Tomasini working with his gubernatorial staff on a transportation and economic development project.

“There is no better human development program in America than college sports,” said Baker, a Republican.

Tomasini worked for Biden when he was a senator and later vice president. She left the vice president's office in 2011 to join Harvard's public affairs team but returned in 2019.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, she was among a tight-knit group of aides who helped run the campaign from Biden's home in Wilmington, Delaware.