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 was the Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama from 2009-2017 making her the longest serving senior advisor in history. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Ms. Jarrett 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, the Commissioner of Planning and Development for the city of Chicago, Deputy Chief of Staff for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and practiced law for ten years in the private and public sector. She also served as the director of numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards including leadership positions 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.
- Finding My Voice
Early in her career, Valerie Jarrett was painfully shy and intent on following her “plan.” In this conversation, Valerie will discuss how she found her voice, leaned into life’s “zig-zags,” and became the longest serving advisor to President Obama. Jarrett’s work included promoting equality for women and girls, advancing civil rights, reforming the criminal justice system, and improving the lives of working families. Jarrett uses her voice in her forthright, optimistic perspective on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring the audience to lift their own voices.
- A Conversation on Race
As a former public official in Chicago and the longest serving advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett has played a pivotal role in developing laws, policies and practices to make our nation more fair and equitable. From revamping public housing in Chicago, to fighting for gender equity, to reforming the nation’s criminal justice system, Jarrett has been on the forefront of developing strategies to improve our culture and strengthen critical protections against discrimination.
Jarrett uses her personal story, including the close relationships she has developed with the country’s business leaders, civil rights leaders, mayors, governors and civic institutions, to provides a clear understanding of both the current challenges and opportunities as our country grapples with the state of race relations in America. As a corporate board member, Jarrett uniquely shares the current state of diversity in the corporate world and, what C-level executives need to do beyond a PR statement to improve the culture of inclusion in their companies. Hear directly from Jarrett on the competitive advantages to strengthening the diversity of your corporate team, the new responsibilities of corporate citizens and strategies to accomplish both.
- Building an Equal, Diverse and Inclusive Workplace
In this conversation, Valerie discusses her passion and advocacy for workplace equality, diversity and inclusion. Working family issues have economic results that directly impact the ability to attract and retain the most talented workforce. From her experience as a CEO of the largest multi-family housing and development company in Chicago, to her board service as a director of numerous corporations and non-profit organizations, Valerie speaks directly to the importance of removing structural and cultural barriers that prevent employers from attracting and retaining a diverse and talented workforce.
- The Election
Valerie Jarrett worked on two rigorous presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012. The most tenured, senior advisor of the Obama administration will explain what the eventual Democratic nominee will need to build to win, break down the primary process and contenders, share the importance of citizen engagement, and recount lessons that she learned from the campaign trail. Jarrett is optimistic, enthused and engaged, leading “When We All Vote,” a non-partisan effort to get out to vote.
- 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.