Valerie B. 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 has 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.”
Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.
"The students really enjoyed having Valerie on campus last night. The talk was exactly what they 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. Thanks for working with us to make this event happen."- 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