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Former Senior Advisor, Obama Administration

Valerie Jarrett: Biography at a Glance

  • Senior Advisor to both the Obama Foundation and Attn:, Senior Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and President of the Board of When We All Vote
  • Serves on the boards of Ariel Investments, 2U, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the Economic Club of Chicago, and was appointed as the first independent board member of ride-hailing service, Lyft Inc.
  • Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama throughout the President's two terms in office
  • Oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls
  • Led the Obama Administration's efforts to expand and strengthen access to the middle class, and boost American businesses and our economy
  • Championed the creation of equality and opportunity for all Americans, and economically and politically empowering women in the United States and around the world
  • Won an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for Interview/Discussion Programming as a contributor to Windy City LIVE! – Turning Point Chicago: WLS 

 

Former Senior Advisor, Obama Administration

Valerie B. Jarrett is a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation and Attn, a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and President of the Board of When We All Vote. She also serves on the boards of Ariel Investments, 2U, Lyft, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and the Economic Club of Chicago.  

Ms. Jarrett was the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. 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, Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, Commissioner of Planning and Development, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. She also served as the director of numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards including Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Ms. Jarrett has also received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” as well as the Abner J. Mikva Legal Legends Award.

Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

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“There were tears, chills and thought provoking conversations after Valerie spoke - I am convinced that these types of conversations inspire more important conversations.”

2U, Inc.

“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.”

Virginia Tech

“She was amazing. What a wonderful night!”

Center for Women in Law at University of Texas Austin

“AOL absolutely loved having Valerie.”

AOL

“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.”

Northeastern Illinois University

“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.”

Stewart McKelvey

“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.”

Art of Leadership

“We were amazed with Valerie. She received a standing ovation and one of the highest ratings we’ve ever had for a speaker. ”

ALM Media

“In a word, excellent. Grand-slam! Valerie was thoughtful, insightful, and quite funny.”

Deutsche Bank

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