Who is Massachusetts native Jennifer O'Malley Dillon? She's the woman who ran Joe Biden's winning presidential campaign. And now she's been named the White House deputy chief of staff.
President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday announced his first slate of senior White House staff, choosing O'Malley Dillon to serve among them. O'Malley Dillon is now listed as White House deputy chief of staff on the Biden-Harris Transition website.
Both of O'Malley Dillon's parents are bursting with pride over their daughter's accomplishment.
Her mom, Kathleen O’Malley, had this to say about her daughter: “She’s always had that drive, to be the best that she can be.”
Her father, Kevin O’Malley, added: “What more could you want from your child? She gave back to the country that gave us everything that we have."
O’Malley Dillon is one of four children who spent her earliest years in Jamaica Plain before moving to Franklin where her father was a school administrator.
“She played tons of sports, she played too many sports. She was going from one thing to another all the time,” her mom said.
O'Malley Dillon's competitive edge continued at Tufts University where O’Malley was captain of the softball team and a political science major.
It was a family trip to Washington, D.C., that seemed to spark the future winning campaign manager's love of politics.
Her mom recalled, "Jen and I were on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and she said, 'Mom, this is where I belong.'”
The Biden campaign was struggling when O’Malley Dillon took over in March, but, within months, the campaign was transformed into a well-funded, highly-disciplined operation.
With the coronavirus pandemic raging, O'Malley Dillon worked out of her home with her husband, Patrick, and their three small children.
Of that work-from-home situation, O’Malley Dillon said on David Plouffe’s podcast, “Having to share the attic with my daughters while they did virtual school, and I was on the campaign, you know was great for them."
O'Malley Dillon is known for keeping a very low profile.
Boston City Councilor Matt O’Malley says of his second cousin, "She’s just focused like a laser beam on the tasks at hand and doesn’t get caught up with the drama."
O’Malley looks forward to the day he can tell his infant daughter how one of his relatives orchestrated the Biden win, adding of O'Malley Dillon, “It’s not an exaggeration to say she has saved this country.”
When asked to respond to that comment, her dad said, "I don’t know what to say about that. She saved my sanity.”