Kristina Schake to leave first lady’s White House staff


Kristina Schake (Denise Crew)

The communications director that helped make Michelle Obama a viral video star and ubiquitous magazine cover presence is leaving the East Wing the White House announced Monday.

Kristina Schake, who joined the first lady’s office in 2010, has been at Obama’s side as she has stretched the traditional role of a first lady to include “mom dancing” on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night talk show and presenting the best picture trophy at the Academy Awards.

Her new private sector gig: Chief communications officer at cosmetics giant L’Oreal USA.

“Kristina has been an essential and valued advisor to me over the past two and a half years,” Obama said in a statement. “Her expertise in strategic planning and her creativity have been invaluable not just to me but to the entire administration and I am truly grateful for her leadership and counsel. While she will be greatly missed at the White House, the impact of her work will be lasting.”

Schake will be replaced by Maria Cristina González Noguera, currently the global vice president for corporate communications for the Estée Lauder Companies Inc. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and graduate of Tufts, she previously worked for D.C. communications firm Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates. In her statement, Obama said “MC” — her new aide’s nickname — “will be an outstanding partner.”

Earlier: Bi-partisan sister act: Democrat Kristina Schake, new Michelle Obama aide, and GOP sibling Kori, 11/23/10

Krissah Thompson began writing for The Washington Post in 2001. She has been a business reporter, covered presidential campaigns and written about civil rights and race. More recently, she has covered the first lady's office, politics and culture.
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