Longtime Obama aide Alyssa Mastromonaco to depart

 


Alyssa Mastromonaco, center, attended a staff meeting with the president and other senior advisers in March 2013.  (White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Alyssa Mastromonaco,  President Obama's deputy chief of staff for operations and one of his longest-serving advisers, is stepping down in May, according to a senior administration official.

While not nearly as high-profile as other senior White House officials, Mastromonaco exercises enormous say over the president's schedule and over who joins the administration. She is also personally close to the president and first lady Michelle Obama, and is already playing a key role in setting up his presidential library and foundation.

Mastromonaco wanted to leave earlier in the president's second term to pursue other career options, according to aides, but the president resisted the idea and persuaded her to stay on longer.

Her departure was first reported by the Associated Press on Saturday night.

In November she married her longtime boyfriend, creating one of the Beltway's most influential power couples: David Krone, chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). The small service was held at the Supreme Court.

Mastromonaco helped set up Obama's Senate office in 2005, worked on his first presidential bid and has served in the White House since he took office. She weighs in on strategic decisions related to both domestic and international policy. She also takes care of the president's personal priorities, from scheduling basketball games to time with his family.

"When he thinks his life is out of control, or there's too much going on, he calls Alyssa," Obama's former senior adviser Pete Rouse told The Washington Post in 2008.

Rouse, who had also served as one of the president's top aides since the start of his Senate career, took his leave in January. With Mastromonaco's exit, Obama's circle of longtime confidants has become even smaller.

Philip Rucker contributed to this report. 

Juliet Eilperin is a White House correspondent for The Washington Post, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.
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