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Emanuel names new chief of staff

CHICAGO – A top aide to former longtime Chicago Mayor Richard Daley will take over later this month as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new chief of staff.

Lisa Schrader, 41, replaces Theresa Mintle, who resigned last week after two years on the job.

Schrader, who was most recently Emanuel’s chief operating officer, will start March 15.

“I would like to think I’ve been helpful to him in the last 21 months, [but] I have learned an enormous amount from him. His vision, his determination, his skills are incredible,” she told the Chicago Sun-Times for a story published Sunday.

Schrader worked her way up through Daley’s administration.

He retired in 2011 after 22 years in office.

She was a spokeswoman for the budget office and then worked as deputy budget director, deputy chief financial officer and deputy chief of staff. Schrader grew up in Ohio and graduated from Miami University in Ohio and has previously worked for the Democratic National Committee and on political campaigns.

She admitted that she came to Chicago in 2000 with little knowledge of the city’s politics but her former co-workers said she learned quickly.

“She’s smart. She’s focused. She has judgment. She doesn’t panic. She’s a very good person. She has character. People have trust in her,” John Schmidt, a former Daley chief of staff, told the newspaper. “It’s the smartest thing Rahm has done since he’s been mayor.”

When Emanuel announced the staff change last week, he played up Schrader’s experience.

“With nearly two decades of experience working in city government, politics and the private sector, Lisa has the experience necessary to manage the day-to-day activities of city government,” Emanuel said in a statement.

Mintle, who earned roughly $175,000 a year in the job, cited family reasons in stepping down.

She told reporters that helping land Chicago as host city for last year’s NATO Summit was among her top accomplishments.

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