WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama tapped former Commerce Secretary William Daley as his chief of staff Thursday, calling Daley an experienced public servant.
Daley "possesses a deep understanding about how jobs are created" and knows what must be done to grow the economy, Obama said when introducing Daley as a member of his staff.
"He is an experienced public servant, a devoted patriot, a friend and fellow Chicagoan," Obama said of Daley, who was commerce secretary during President Bill Clinton's administration.
And "he knows how government and politics work," Obama said. "You might say it's a genetic trait."
Daley is the brother of outgoing Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, whose seat Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is seeking.
"I know Bill is someone who cares deeply about this country," Obama said. "He will bring his tremendous experience, his strong values and his forward-looking vision to the White House."
Pete Rouse, who was Obama's interim chief of staff, will remain with the administration, serving as Obama's counselor.
Daley said he was honored by the opportunity to serve Obama and the nation.
"You have proven your strength, your leadership and your vision during a most difficult time for our nation and our world," he said.
Obama said he would make more staff announcements soon, saying he was "absolutely confident that we will have a great team" that will address challenges facing the country.
Gene Sperling, a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is expected to be named Friday as director of the National Economic Council. Sperling held the post in the Clinton administration.
The White House also announced press secretary Robert Gibbs was leaving to become an outside political adviser to the president and his re-election campaign.