One of the people seen as key to Jack Layton and the NDP's success in the last election is returning to the party.

Anne McGrath is returning to drive pre-election preparation as the New Democrats gear up for a campaign expected in 2015.

McGrath served as Layton’s chief of staff from 2008 to 2011. She stayed on to help Tom Mulcair as he transitioned into his role as leader. McGrath was also a past president of the party, serving from 2006 to 2009.

As Layton's right hand, McGrath helped bring the NDP its biggest caucus in party history.

McGrath told CBC News she is excited to be back even though she wasn’t gone for very long.

McGrath was most recently a managing director at Ensight, a strategic communications and lobbying firm. 

“It’s in my blood and in my heart. It’s what I love doing. This is what gets me up in the morning and keeps me from going to bed at night,” said McGrath.

The party’s national director, Nathan Rotman, said McGrath brings a strong record of success with her.

Rotman said her experience and decision-making abilities will help make sure there is coordination between the party and the leader’s office.

Rotman said McGrath is “well-respected by the caucus and staff” and will be working full-time as campaign advisor.

McGrath has worked on various elections, but never with Mulcair.

The next election will be a different ball game, McGrath said, but added that all campaigns have “a different character.”