Senior Adviser to the President – no confirmation needed

Donilon has been an advisor and consultant to President-elect Joe Biden since 1981.

by Deedra Abboud in Political
January 17, 2021 0 comments

Mike Donilon has been named Senior Advisor to the President.

Donilon has been an advisor and consultant to President-elect Joe Biden since 1981.

The position: Top adviser to the president, overseeing a wide range of policy and related decisions.

Mike Donilon is the son of Theresa A. Donilon (née Conway), who worked two jobs, as a school secretary and a message service operator while also leading a school secretary and janitors’ union; and Edward T. Donilon, who was a product control manager and a local school board chairman.

His father was of Irish descent, and his maternal grandparents had immigrated from Ireland.

Donilon’s brothers are BlackRock Investment Institute chair Tom Donilon, who was chief of staff in former President Bill Clinton’s State Department and is a former National security adviser to Barack Obama, and Terry Donilon, Communications Director for Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston. His sister-in-law is Catherine M. Russell.

Donilon is a graduate of La Salle Academy in Providence, Rhode Island.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from Georgetown University.

Donilon has advised candidates and worked on their campaigns in numerous important races including Douglas Wilder‘s historic campaign and election as Governor of Virginia (1989), Harris Wofford‘s upset victory over Dick Thornburgh to become Senator for the state of Pennsylvania, and Bill Clinton‘s successful run for the White House in 1992.

Donilon has also worked on campaigns for Governor Jon Corzine (D-NJ), Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Senator Joe Liberman (I-CT), Representative Dick Gephardt (D-MO), Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Senator John Edwards (D-NC), Vice President Al Gore (D-D.C), Senator John Kerry (D-MA), and former Senator Mark Dayton (D-MN).

In 2006 and 2008, Donilon claims he was “instrumental in the campaigns for Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), working to create the campaign ads for those races paid for by independent expenditure of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.”

As his longtime advisor, Mike Donilon held significant influence over Joe Biden’s successful 2020 campaign for president.

He helped develop Biden’s campaign strategy that had a three-pronged message: “that the election was about the ‘soul of the nation’; that the threatened middle class was the ‘backbone of the nation’; and that what was most needed was to ‘unify the nation.’ Only Biden could restore the nation’s soul, repair its backbone, and unify it.”

“This is really about character and values as opposed to issues and ideology,” said Mike Donilon, Biden’s chief strategist, when speaking to the New York Times.[

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