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White House Nutrition Director Sam Kass Steps Down

His successor will be named in the new year.

Pool/Getty Images

In a memo from released this morning, the White House confirmed that the country's first ever Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition and Eater World Changer Sam Kass would be stepping down from his post. Kass also served as the director of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative. In a profile published by the New York Times earlier this year, Kass was praised for taking "organic gardening and the whole-wheat-ification of grilled cheese sandwiches mainstream." Prior to joining Let's Move! Kass served as a chef in the White House kitchen. Kass has not yet announced his next move, though the memo, published in full below, says that he will remain an advisor to Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! program.

Today the White House announced the departure of Sam Kass, Executive Director of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative, the first-ever White House Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition, and personal chef to the First Family. Kass will leave the White House at the end of the month to live full-time in New York City. His departure concludes a tenure of dedicated service not only to the First Family, but also to the Obama Administration as a key player in the development of nutrition policy.

"From constructing our Kitchen Garden to brewing our own Honey Brown Ale, Sam has left an indelible mark on the White House," said President Obama. "And with the work he has done to inspire families and children across this country to lead healthier lives, Sam has made a real difference for our next generation. Over the years, Sam has grown from a close friend to a critical member of my team, and I am grateful for his outstanding work and look forward to seeing all that he will continue to achieve in the years ahead."

"Sam has been an integral part of Let's Move! from its very beginning -- from discussions about children's health around my kitchen table in Chicago, to setting the strategic vision of a national campaign in the White House, to spearheading efforts with the private sector across the country, " said First Lady Michelle Obama. "Sam leaves an extraordinary legacy of progress, including healthier food options in grocery store aisles, more nutritious school lunches, and new efforts that have improved how healthy food is marketed to our kids. I wish Sam success in all his future endeavors, and I know he will continue to be a leader in the vitally important work to build a healthier country."

Kass will remain engaged with the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative and the continuing effort to advance childhood nutrition. His successor will be named in the new year.