Howard University

Valerie Jarrett Bio

Valerie Jarrett

Senior Advisor to the President

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Valerie B. Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and also oversees four departments: The offices of Public Engagement, Intergovernmental Affairs, Olympic Paralympic and Youth Sports, and the White House Office of Urban Affairs. She chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls and leads the White House’s business outreach efforts.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, Ms. Jarrett served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company. She served as Co-Chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, and Senior Advisor to Obama’s presidential campaign.

She also was a leader in the civic and business communities of Chicago and served as a Director of several corporate and not for profit boards, including serving as Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, and Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She also served as Finance Chair for President Obama’s 2004 run for the U.S. Senate.

Prior to joining The Habitat Company in 1995, Ms. Jarrett served for eight years in several positions in Chicago City government including Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard M. Daley and Commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development. Before her city government service, Ms. Jarrett practiced law with two private law firms.

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






updated: February 9, 2011