Businesswoman, Former Senior Advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama & Bestselling Author
- Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and is now President of the Barack Obama Foundation and a Senior Distinguished Fellow at The University of Chicago Law School.
- She is Board Chairman of Civic Nation, Co-Chair of The United State of Women, Senior Advisor to Attn., and One Million Black Women Advisory Board member.
- She also serves on the boards of Lyft, Ralph Lauren, Walgreens Boots Alliance, 2U, Sweetgreen, Ariel Investments, the Innocence Project, Time’s Up, Sesame Workshop, the Economic Club of Chicago and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.
- Her bestselling memoir, Finding My Voice, shares her optimistic perspective on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring readers to lift their own voices.
- She led the Obama Administration's efforts to expand and strengthen access to the middle class, and boost American businesses and our economy; Champions the creation of equality and opportunity for all Americans, and economically and politically empowering women in the United States and around the world
- Valerie speaks to numerous topics from her life of public service; she shares her expertise and voice on the critical issues of today, including criminal justice and police reform, civil rights, women’s equality and politics.
Valerie Jarrett is the President of the Barack Obama Foundation and a Senior Distinguished Fellow at The University of Chicago Law School. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward, published in April 2019. She serves as Board Chairman of Civic Nation, Co-Chair of The United State of Women, senior advisor to Attn, and is a One Million Black Women Advisory Board member. Jarrett also serves on the boards of Walgreens Boot Alliance, Inc., Ralph Lauren Corporation, Lyft, Inc., 2U, Inc., Ariel Investments, The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, The Innocence Project, Sesame Street Workshop and the Economic Club of Chicago.
Ms. Jarrett was the Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama from 2009-2017 making her the longest serving senior advisor in history. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Ms. Jarrett worked throughout her tenure at the White House to mobilize elected officials, business and community leaders, and diverse groups of advocates. She led the Obama Administration’s efforts to expand and strengthen access to the middle class, and boost American businesses and our economy. She championed the creation of equality and opportunity for all Americans, and economically and politically empowering women in the United States and around the world. She oversaw the Administration’s advocacy for workplace policies that empower working families, including equal pay, raising the minimum wage, paid leave, paid sick days, workplace flexibility, and affordable childcare, and led the campaigns to reform our criminal justice system, end sexual assault, and reduce gun violence.
Ms. Jarrett has a background in both the public and private sectors. She served as the Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company in Chicago, the Commissioner of Planning and Development for the city of Chicago, Deputy Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and practiced law for ten years in the private and public sector. She also served as the director of numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards including leadership positions as Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, Vice Chairman of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees,
Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Chair of Chicago Transit Board. Ms. Jarrett has also received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” Award.
Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.
There were tears, chills and thought provoking conversations after Valerie spoke - I am convinced that these types of conversations inspire more important conversations.
I heard today was deeply impactful and absolutely fabulous. I only wish I could have been there to see the standing ovation! Thank you for helping so many of our teammates find their voice, influencing our culture, and inspiring so many.
She was the only speaker to get a standing ovation after her talk. She was honest, relevant and engaging.
The talk was exactly what the students needed as we get closer to final exams here on campus. They left feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to go make a difference in their communities.
She was amazing. What a wonderful night!
All went perfect. It was a wonderful commencement speech. We were so thrilled to have her be a part of this special day. Thank you for all of your help.
So many pearls of wisdom, sharing a story that has sparked conversations about civic responsibility, choices, consequences, empowerment, equality, diversity, how we achieve success in business and life, and much, much more.
I thought I would share the speaker ratings from The Art of Leadership for Women. As you can see, Valerie was the highest rated speaker. She was fantastic.
We were amazed with Valerie. She received a standing ovation and one of the highest ratings we’ve ever had for a speaker.
In a word, excellent. Grand-slam! Valerie was thoughtful, insightful, and quite funny.
Fabulous! Valerie was amazing. We had a packed house and everyone I talked to loved her.
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