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Valerie Jarrett    

Civic Leader, New York Times Best-Selling Author & Former Senior Advisor to President Obama

The Honorable Valerie Jarrett is Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of the Barack Obama Foundation. She is also a Senior Distinguished Fellow at The University of Chicago Law School. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling book "Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward," published in April 2019.

She serves as Board Chairman of Civic Nation and Co-Chair of The United State of Women. Jarrett also serves on the boards of Walgreens Boot Alliance, Inc., Ralph Lauren Corporation, Sweetgreen, Inc., Ariel Investments, The University of Chicago, Sesame Street Workshop and The Economic Club of Chicago. Jarrett also serves on the Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women Advisory Board, the Bank of America Enterprise Executive Development Council, and the Microsoft Advisory Council. Ms. Jarrett was the Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama from 2009-2017, making her the longest serving senior advisor to a president in history. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls.

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, the Commissioner of Planning and Development for the city of Chicago, Deputy Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and she practiced law for ten years in the private and public sector. She also previously served as the director of numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards including leadership roles as Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, Vice Chairman of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees, Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Chair of Chicago Transit Board.

Ms. Jarrett has also received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” Award. Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

Speech Topics

Where Do We Go From Here?

The 2016 Presidential election stunned the country and the world. Many are trying to make sense of how such an unlikely candidate became the President of the United States. Is our country really more divided than ever? Valerie Jarrett will discuss where we go from here in order to strive for that more perfect union. It is not a time to be apathetic or disengaged. We live in a globally competitive world, but the United States is still the greatest country on earth. Democracy is messy, complicated and diverse. With our country's legacy of triumph and pain, we have always found the grit, determination, and resilience to embrace our individual and collective responsibilities as citizens. When we discover common ground, we move our country forward and whether we like it or not, our future as Americans is inextricably linked.

Building a 21st Century Workplace that Reflects the Values and Needs of the 21st Century Worker and Enabling U.S. Businesses to be Globally Competitive

Women comprise half the work force. They are graduating from college at higher rates than men. 40 percent of working moms are the sole or primary bread winners. However, women still earn 80 cents on the dollar compared to men, while a woman’s contribution to the family income is now more important than ever. Why equal pay, workplace flexibility, paid leave, paid sick days, affordable child care, and a decent minimum wage are not only good for working families, they are imperative to running a business.

What it is Like to Be in the Room Where it Happens

Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving senior advisor to President Barack Obama. She joined the White House team on January 20, 2009 and departed with the First Family on January 20, 2017. Sharing her experiences, Valerie will discuss what she learned from the challenges of leading the greatest country on earth.

Put Yourself in the Path of Lightening

Early in her career, Valerie Jarrett was painfully shy and lacked the confidence to speak up for herself or take risks because of her fear of failure or rejection. In this speech, Valerie will discuss how she found her voice, learned to enjoy sharing it, and the skills she developed along the way.


Valerie Jarrett News - The New York Times
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