Kristina Schake joins the staff as Special Assistant to the President and Communications Director to the First Lady. She will start in the East Wing in December, 2010.
Kristina Schake is co-founder and principal of Griffin Schake, a California-based public affairs and strategic communications firm. She is a seasoned expert in helping major foundations, non-profit organizations and civic leaders bring about critical social change through policy, legislative, social marketing and media initiatives. Ms. Schake served for several years as the senior communications strategist for First Lady Maria Shriver, the Women’s Conference and the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative. Ms. Schake and her company also helped make issues such as stem cell research and early childhood education a national priority and helped change California's political landscape on renewable energy and civil rights. Before forming her firm, she was the Director of the Governor’s Summit on Obesity and the Communications Director for First 5 California, which provides education, health care, child care and nutrition programs for the state’s youngest children. A native Californian, Kristina is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.
Other changes in the First Lady's administration this year have included the resigning of Susan Sher as Chief of Staff to Mrs. Obama. Sher will be returning to Chicago after the first of the year (2011), after nearly two years of service. Ms. Sher started in the White House Counsel’s Office in January, 2009, to support the Office of the First Lady. In this role, she also worked on the Administration's health care reform efforts. In June, 2009, Sher moved to the East Wing to serve as Chief of Staff to the First Lady.
Former Social Secretary for First Lady Obama, Desiree Rogers, resigned in March after a mix up that involved the crashing of the president's first State Dinner last year in which couple Tareq and Micheale Salahi gained entrance into the White House without being on the formal State Dinner guest list.
Rogers currently works for Johnson Publishing as its new CEO. Johnson Publishing company publishes Ebony/Jet magazines.