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Valerie Jarrett
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Valerie B. Jarrett is Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement. Prior to her current position, she served as Co-Chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team, and Senior Advisor to Obama's presidential campaign. Jarrett became the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Habitat Company on January 31, 2007. She had served as Executive Vice President of Habitat for 12 years. Prior to that, Jarrett served for eight years in Chicago government as Deputy Corporation Counsel for Finance and Development, 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. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Jarrett served as a Director of corporate and not for profit boards, including Chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and Vice Chair of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees. She was a Director of the Local Initiative Support Corporation, The Joyce Foundation, and a Trustee of the Museum of Science and Industry. From 1995 to 2003, Jarrett served as Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board. Jarrett also served as Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange from April 2004 through April 2007. She was a Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from January 2006 through April 2007. Jarrett served as Finance Chair for President Obama's 2004 run for the U.S. Senate. Jarrett received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

Entries by Valerie Jarrett

Champion of African American History: The Honorable Shirley Chisholm of New York

(9) Comments | Posted February 28, 2014 | 2:31 PM

"I don't measure America by its achievement but by its potential." - Shirley Chisolm, in her book, Unbought and Unbossed

With her slight build, distinctly precise diction, and relentless energy, Representative Shirley Chisholm of New York will be forever remembered for the ground she broke in Congress, and...

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My Brother's Keeper: A New White House Initiative to Empower Boys and Young Men of Color

(22) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 1:43 PM

Today, from the East Room of the White House, President Obama will launch a new effort aimed at empowering boys and young men of color, a segment of our society which too often faces disproportionate challenges and obstacles to success. These obstacles are found in our schools, our...

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Partnering for Action in African American Communities

(6) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 10:34 AM

Leaders from some of the country's foremost African American civil rights organizations joined President Obama and a handful of administration leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House yesterday. To open the meeting, I was joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz,...

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Champion of African American History: Carter G. Woodson

(4) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 4:42 PM

In the fall of 1870, a handful of students made their way through the northwest quadrant of the nation's capital, and through the doors of D.C.'s "Preparatory High School for Colored Youth," the country's first public high school for African American children. There, in the shadow of the American Civil...

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A Woman's Health Care Decisions Should Be in Her Own Hands, Not Her Boss's

(2720) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 4:41 PM

Ensuring the full freedom of women as health care consumers to access essential preventative health services is a vital component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And nowhere are health decisions more personal or essential to keep in their hands, than those regarding reproductive health. The ACA was designed to...

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Investing in Women and Girls Is an Investment in Our Future

(82) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 12:17 PM

ayo megbope
Ayo Megbope is a graduate of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women program, and the owner of "No Leftovers Nigeria", a catering company and restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria.

With a broad smile, and a gleam in her eyes, Ayo Megbope sat beside me, and shared story...

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50 Years of American Heroes

(84) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 8:17 PM

Fifty years ago, the heroic voice of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. rang out across our capital, our country and the world, and called on us to become the more perfect union he believed we were destined to be. A country which endows every man, woman and child with unalienable...

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The HIV Care Continuum Initiative: The Next Step of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

(6) Comments | Posted July 15, 2013 | 12:25 PM

Three years ago, President Obama announced an historic comprehensive plan to help turn the tide on HIV/AIDS in the United States: the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. The Strategy has given a new sense of direction, and purpose in our fight against HIV and AIDS.

Since the Strategy's release,...

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Being Whole

(89) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 2:45 PM

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at the 135th Wellesley College Commencement. During my speech, I encouraged young women to be resilient, be flexible and pace themselves throughout the journey of their life. And as we think about redefining what it means to live a successful life, I...

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Be Flexible. Be Resilient.

(72) Comments | Posted June 1, 2013 | 8:26 AM

This post is adapted from remarks given to the Wellesley College class of 2013 on May 31.

Good morning, everyone!

Thank you for that generous introduction, President Bottomly, or should I say KBot, as I understand you are affectionately called by your students?

I'd like to recognize the Board of...

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Keeping Up the Fight Against Child Sex Trafficking

(68) Comments | Posted May 9, 2013 | 5:02 PM

Yesterday, I was honored to attend the 7th Annual Pearls of Purpose Gala hosted by FAIRgirls. FAIR stands for Free, Aware, Inspired, and Restored, and it works to prevent the exploitation of girls worldwide with empowerment and education. At the gala, I spoke about the horror of child sex trafficking...

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Small Businesses Embody the Spirit That Makes America Great

(268) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 7:16 PM

Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking at the inaugural 10,000 Small Businesses -- Tory Burch Foundation early-stage businesses graduation in New York.

Eighteen women from around New York graduated from a comprehensive program focused on building their small businesses, which included a curriculum developed by Babson College and implemented...

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Lloyd Austin: The First African-American to Lead U.S. Central Command

(78) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 12:37 PM

Today, General Lloyd Austin became the first African-American to lead the U.S. Central Command, which has a wide-ranging area of responsibility for 20 countries in the Middle East and southwest Asia. His appointment is effective immediately.

During the change of command ceremony today, Secretary of Defense Chuck...

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No One Should Have to Live in Fear of Violence

(981) Comments | Posted March 7, 2013 | 1:30 PM

Today, President Obama signed a bill that both strengthened and reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Thanks to this bipartisan agreement, thousands of women and men across the country who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking will be able to access resources they need...

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Hagel for Secretary of Defense

(170) Comments | Posted January 7, 2013 | 12:22 PM

Earlier today, President Obama announced his intent to nominate former Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

Chuck Hagel is uniquely qualified to be Secretary of Defense. He is a decorated war hero who earned two purple hearts for his heroism in Vietnam. He knows the sacrifices...

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Affordable Care Becomes a Reality for Women and Families

(820) Comments | Posted August 1, 2012 | 1:58 PM

As chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, I am incredibly proud to highlight an important part of the health care law that gives women more control over their health care. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 47 million women will have access...

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Lifting Up All Women

(16) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 12:18 PM

This week, the United States is hosting the 19th International AIDS Conference. As we welcome 22,000 leaders, advocates and experts from around the world with the goal of ending HIV/AIDS, I thought it was important not to forget those living with HIV/AIDS here in our home town. Among...

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Prioritizing Low-Income Families and Creating Pathways to Opportunity for All Americans

(488) Comments | Posted May 31, 2012 | 6:18 PM

Throughout his distinguished career, Bob Herbert has helped shine a spotlight on the lives of Americans living in poverty -- a group that is too often ignored. That was certainly true of his May 21st column, in which he told the story of 20 poor children from the Bronx who...

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Just Plain Wrong: House Republican Bill Undermines the Violence Against Women Act

(700) Comments | Posted May 16, 2012 | 8:26 AM

The passage of the Violence Against Women Act nearly two decades ago was an historic moment for America's women and girls. The law gave women new legal protections that help ensure their safety.

Last month, Democratic and Republican Senators came together to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. The bill...

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Protecting Women and Their Children Around the World

(190) Comments | Posted February 28, 2012 | 2:27 PM

Yesterday evening, I had the honor of addressing the 2nd Annual World Conference of Women's Shelters, hosted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and sponsored by Global Network of Women Shelters. The conference was composed of more than 1,300 advocates representing more than 90 countries, including the United...

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