|Director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs|
January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
|Preceded by||Julie Cram (Public Liaison)|
|Succeeded by||George Sifakis (Public Liaison)|
|Senior Advisor to the President|
January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017
|Preceded by||Barry Jackson|
|Succeeded by||Jared Kushner
|Born||Valerie June Bowman
November 14, 1956
|Spouse(s)||William Jarrett (1983–1988)|
|Education||Stanford University (BA)
University of Michigan (JD)
Valerie June Jarrett (née Bowman; born November 14, 1956) is an American lawyer, businesswoman, and civic leader. She served as the Senior Advisor to the President of the United States and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama administration from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017. Prior to that, she served as a co-chair of the Obama–Biden Transition Project.
Early life and education
Jarrett was born in Shiraz, Iran, to American parents James E. Bowman and Barbara Taylor Bowman. One of her maternal great-grandfathers, Robert Robinson Taylor, was an architect who was the first accredited African American architect, and the first African-American student enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Her father, a pathologist and geneticist, ran a hospital for children in Shiraz in 1956 as part of a program where American physicians and agricultural experts sought to help developing countries' health and farming efforts. When she was five years old, the family moved to London for a year, later moving to Chicago in 1963. Her parents were both African-American; on the television series Finding Your Roots, genealogical research and DNA testing indicated that Jarrett also has French, Scottish, and Native American ancestry. As a child, Jarrett spoke Persian and French. In 1966, her mother was one of four child advocates that created the Erikson Institute. The Institute was established to provide collective knowledge in child development for teachers and other professionals working with young children.
Jarrett graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon in 1974. She earned a B.A. in psychology from Stanford University in 1978 and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981. On May 22, 2016, Jarrett received an honorary degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
Chicago municipal politics
Jarrett continued to work in the mayor's office in the 1990s. She was deputy chief of staff for Mayor Richard Daley, during which time (1991) she hired Michelle Robinson, then engaged to Barack Obama, away from a private law firm. Jarrett served as commissioner of the department of planning and development from 1992 through 1995, and she was chairwoman of the Chicago Transit Board from 1995 to 2005.
Until joining the Obama administration, Jarrett was the CEO of the Habitat Company, a real estate development and management company, which she joined in 1995. She has been replaced by Mark Segal, a lawyer who joined the company in 2002, as CEO. Daniel E. Levin is the chairman of Habitat, which was formed in 1971. Jarrett was a member of the board of Chicago Stock Exchange (2000–2007, as chairman, 2004–2007).
She was a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago Medical Center from 1996 to 2009, becoming vice chairwoman in 2002 and chairwoman in 2006. She also served as Vice Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago and a Trustee of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Jarrett serves on the board of directors of USG Corporation, a Chicago-based building materials corporation.
Jarrett's previous year's income, in a 2009 report, was a $300,000 salary and $550,000 in deferred compensation from the Habitat Executive Services, Inc. The Wall Street Journal also reported that she disclosed receiving payments of more than $346,000 for service on boards of directors that reflect her political ties, work in Chicago real estate, and Chicago community development. She was paid $76,000 for service as a director of Navigant Consulting, Inc., a Chicago-based global consulting group with governmental clients. She received $146,600 from USG and $58,000 to serve on the board of Rreef American REIT II, a real estate investment trust based in San Francisco. The Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., paid her $34,444.
Advisor to Barack Obama
|“||Unlike Bert Lance, who arrived from Georgia with President [Jimmy] Carter and became his budget director, or Karen Hughes, who was President [George W.] Bush's communications manager, Ms. Jarrett isn't a confidante with a particular portfolio. What she does share with these counterparts is a fierce sense of loyalty and a refusal to publicly say anything that may reflect poorly on the candidate—or steal his thunder.||”|
On November 14, 2008, President-elect Barack Obama selected Jarrett to serve as White House Senior Advisor and assistant to the president for intergovernmental relations and public liaison.
Jarrett was one of three senior advisors to President Obama. She held the retitled position of assistant to the president for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement, managed the White House Office of Public Engagement, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Office of Urban Affairs; she also chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls and the White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Sport. She was part of the US State Visit to the UK in May 2011.
Jarrett had a staff of about three dozen and received full-time Secret Service protection. Jarrett's role as both a friend of the Obamas and as senior advisor in the White House was controversial: Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of Defense, objected in his memoirs to her involvement in foreign security affairs; David Axelrod reported in his memoirs Rahm Emanuel's attempts to have her selected as Obama's replacement in the Senate, due to concerns about the difficulty in working with a family friend in a major policy role.
Additional leadership positions
In addition to being senior advisor to the president, Jarrett held other leadership positions and completed further duties. Among those included chairing the White House Council on Women and Girls and co-chairing the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. In March 2014, she participated as a speaker on Voices in Leadership, an original Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health webcast series, in a discussion titled, "Leadership in the White House," moderated by Dr. Atul Gawande.
Relationship with Former President Barack Obama
In 1991, as deputy chief of staff to Mayor Richard Daley, Jarrett interviewed Michelle Robinson for an opening in the mayor's office, after which she immediately offered Robinson the job. Robinson asked for time to think and also asked Jarrett to meet her fiancé, Barack Obama. The three ended up meeting for dinner. After the dinner, Robinson accepted the job with the mayor's office. It was at this time that Jarrett reportedly took the couple under her wing and "introduced them to a wealthier and better-connected Chicago than their own." When Jarrett later left her position at the mayor's office to head Chicago's Department of Planning and Development, Michelle Obama went with her. After leaving the White House, Barack and Michelle Obama moved to the Kalorama neighborhood in the nation's capital just two miles away from their former home. It was reported that Valerie Jarrett will also be moving into the Obama residence. Barack Obama's former deputy press secretary, Eric Schultz, later denied the report in a tweet, writing that Jarret will not be moving in with the Obamas.
In popular culture
In 1983 Jarrett married William Robert Jarrett, son of Chicago Sun-Times reporter Vernon Jarrett. She attributes her switch from a private to a public career to their daughter Laura's birth and her own desire to do something that would make their daughter proud.
To one reporter's emailed question about her divorce, she replied, "Married in 1983, separated in 1987, and divorced in 1988. Enough said." In a Vogue profile, she further explained, "We grew up together. We were friends since childhood. In a sense, he was the boy next door. I married without really appreciating how hard divorce would be." William Jarrett died in 1993 at age 40, and at the time of his death was director of obstetrics and gynecology at Jackson Park Hospital.
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- Ellen Weiss, Robert Robinson Taylor, Encyclopedia of Alabama
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- Stated on Finding Your Roots, PBS, October 28, 2014
- Kantor, Jodi (November 23, 2008). "An Old Hometown Mentor, Still at Obama’s Side". The New York Times.
- History, The Erikson Institute.
- Valerie Jarrett to leave University of Chicago posts for White House, University of Chicago, January 9, 2009,
...Stanford University in 1978 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.
- "Honorary Degree Citations". Commencement. 2016-05-22. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
- "Campaign 2008: The Family Friend: Valerie Jarrett". Newsweek. May 19, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
- "Valerie Jarrett to lead expanded Board of University of Chicago Medical Center" (Press release). University of Chicago News Office. June 13, 2006.
- The Habitat Company.
- Gallun, Alby (Feb 5, 2009), "Habitat promotes veteran to CEO", Chicago Real Estate Daily (Crain's), retrieved May 4, 2009.
- "Valerie Jarrett to leave University of Chicago posts for White House". uchicago.edu. 2009. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- "Valerie Jarrett Profile". Forbes.com. 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
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- Kantor, Jodi (November 14, 2008). "Obama Hires Jarrett for Senior Role". New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- "Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett". The Administration: White House Staff. WhiteHouse.gov. Retrieved January 29, 2009.
Valerie B. Jarrett is Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison
- Kantor, Jodi (November 14, 2008). "Longstanding Obama Advisor Gets Senior Role at the White House". New York Times.
- "US State Visit, 24 to 26 May 2011 Guest List". Royal Family official website.
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- Becker, Jo (2012-09-01). "The Other Power in the West Wing". NY Times. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- Robert M. Gates. Duty: memoirs of a secretary at war. Deckle Edge, 2014
- David Axelrod. Believer: my forty years in politics. Penguin Press. 2015
- A renewed call to action to end rape and sexual assault, The White House Blog, Washington, DC: Valerie Jarrett, 22 January 2014, Retrieved 24 January 2014.
- Memorandum: Establishing White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, WhiteHouse.gov, Washington, DC: The White House, 22 January 2014, Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- "Leadership in the White House".
- Van Meter, Jonathan (October 2008). "Barack’s Rock". Vogue.
- Jackson, David (September 29, 2014). "Valerie Jarrett appears on 'The Good Wife'". USAToday.com. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
- van Meter, Jonathan (October 2008), "Barack's Rock", Vogue, retrieved December 15, 2008.
- Heise, Kenan (November 23, 1993). "Dr. William Jarrett Of Jackson Park Hospital". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
- "Lyft Board of Directors welcomes a new female member | Industry Leaders Magazine". Industry Leaders Magazine. 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2017-08-02.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Valerie Jarrett|
- Valerie Jarrett at Whitehouse.gov (archived at obamawhitehouse.archives.gov)
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Valerie Jarrett on Charlie Rose
- "Valerie Jarrett collected news and commentary". The New York Times.
- Works by or about Valerie Jarrett in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Obama's keeper: Valerie Jarrett, The Independent, 10 August 2009
- Valerie Jarrett joins the Lyft Board of Directors (Industry Leaders Magazine)
as Director of the Office of Public Liaison
|Director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs
as Director of the Office of Public Liaison
|Senior Advisor to the President
Served alongside: Brian Deese, Shailagh Murray