Valerie Bowman Jarrett
(born November 14, 1956) is a Senior Advisor
to the President of the United States
and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs
in the Obama administration
. She is a Chicago lawyer, businesswoman, and civic leader. Prior to that she served as a co-chairperson of the Obama-Biden Transition Project
Jarrett was born in Shiraz
, Iran, to African-American parents James E. Bowman
and Barbara Taylor Bowman
. 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 communtize developing countries' health and farming efforts. When she was five, the family moved to London for one year, later moving to Chicago in 1963.
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 re-development for teachers and other professionals working with young children.
As a child she spoke Persian
One of her great-grandfathers was Jewish
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 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 the daughter proud.
To one reporter's e-mailed 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."
Chicago municipal politics
Jarrett got her start in Chicago politics in 1987 working for Mayor Harold Washington
as Deputy Corporation Counsel for Finance and Development.
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 was Chair 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-Chair in 2002 and Chair in 2006.
She also served as Vice Chairman 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 she disclosed receiving payments of more than $346,000 for service on boards of directors that reflect her political ties, and work in Chicago real estate and 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
Obama speaks to Jarrett and other aides during a senior staff meeting in August 2009.
Barack Obama chats with Valerie Jarrett in the Blue Room, White House, 2010.
Jarrett is one of President Obama's longest serving advisors and confidantes and was "widely tipped for a high-profile position in an Obama administration."
||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 Obama selected Jarrett to serve as White House Senior Advisor
and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison
Jarrett is one of three Senior Advisors to President Obama.
She holds the retitled position of Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement,
managing the White House Office of Public Engagement, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of Urban Affairs, and Chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls, and White House Office of Olympic, Paralympic, and Youth Sport.
She said that the 2011 report Women in America
which the administration produced for the Council on Women and Girls would be used to guide policy-making.
Jarrett has a staff of about three dozen and receives full-time Secret Service
Relationship with President Obama
Obama speaks with Jarrett in a West Wing corridor.
In 1991, as Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Richard Daley, she interviewed Michelle Robinson for an opening in the mayor’s office, and offered her the job immediately.
Michelle 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, Michelle took the job with the mayor's office, and Valerie Jarrett reportedly took the couple under her wing and “introduced them to a wealthier and better-connected Chicago than their own.” She later took Michelle with her when she left the mayor's office to head Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development.
- ^ Terry, Don (July 27, 2008). "Insider has Obama's ear: What's she telling him?". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
- ^ King, John (November 9, 2008). "Obama wants Valerie Jarrett to replace him in Senate". CNNPolitics.com.
- ^ "2-Min Bio: Valerie Jarrett", Time, November 11, 2008.
- ^ History, The Erikson Institute.
- ^ Kantor, Jodi (November 23, 2008). "An Old Hometown Mentor, Still at Obama’s Side". The New York Times.
- ^ The Jewish Daily Forward: "Presidential Aide Valerie Jarrett Discloses Her Jewish Roots" By Nathan Guttman March 7, 2011 |“Many, many years ago, my parents hosted a seder for a group of our Jewish friends, and it was here that my father first told me that my great-grandfather was Jewish. What a wonderful surprise for our friends, and for me! So Passover has always been a special holiday for me”
- ^ 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".
- ^ a b c van Meter, Jonathan (October 2008), "Barack's Rock", Vogue, retrieved December 15, 2008.
- ^ "Campaign 2008: The Family Friend: Valerie Jarrett". Newsweek. May 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-23.
- ^ a b "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 4/5/2009 .
- ^ "Valerie Jarrett to leave University of Chicago posts for White House". uchicago.edu. 2009. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
- ^ (dead link) "Valerie Jarrett Profile". Forbes.com. 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
- ^ McKinnon, John D; Farnum, FW (April 4, 2009), "Hedge Fund Paid Summers $5.2 Million in Past Year", The Wall Street Journal (online ed.), retrieved 4/5/2009 .
- ^ a b Belkin, Douglas (May 12, 2008). "For Obama, Advice Straight Up: Valerie Jarrett Is Essential Member of Inner Set". Wall Street Journal.
- ^ Bai, Matt (August 10, 2008). "Is Obama the End of Black Politics?". New York Times Magazine.
- ^ Kantor, Jodi (November 14, 2008). "Obama Hires Jarrett for Senior Role". New York Times. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- ^ a b "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.
- ^ Stolberg, Sheryl (March 1, 2011). "White House Issues Report on Women in America". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
- ^ Becker, Jo (2012-09-01). "The Other Power in the West Wing". NY Times. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- ^ Van Meter, Jonathan (October 2008). "Barack’s Rock". Vogue.
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