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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

To the Class of 2016: Change Happens One Citizen at a Time

(7) Comments | Posted May 22, 2016 | 7:30 PM

This post is adapted from the Colby College Baccalaureate Address, delivered in Waterville, Maine, on May 21, 2016, by Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett.

Thank you, President Greene, for that generous introduction. It was such an honor to work with you at the University of...

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Overtime Pay Gives Working Families a Boost

(16) Comments | Posted May 19, 2016 | 11:35 AM

The new mom in Columbus, Ohio who wants to grow her family, yet is falling behind even though she and her husband are working harder than ever.

The single mom in Tucson, Arizona who is an assistant manager at a sandwich shop, who said, "It requires a lot of time...

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Today, We Will Change Tomorrow

(2) Comments | Posted March 1, 2016 | 9:18 AM

As we kick off Women's History Month today, let's remind ourselves that it is a powerful time to be a woman. We now do it all, from CEOs, to scientists, teachers, mothers, small business owners, elected officials, activists, and volunteers. And so many women and men are uniting behind the...

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Nominate an 'It's On Us' White House Champion of Change

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2016 | 4:53 PM

All students deserve a safe, violence-free environment that supports and enhances their academic experience. Yet all too many teens and young adults suffer from sexual assault and experience the traumas that can diminish their aspirations. That is why not only do we need to do more to end the epidemic...

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Better Data Equals Greater Pay Equality

(13) Comments | Posted January 29, 2016 | 10:56 AM

Federal law has banned pay discrimination since 1963. But more than 50 years later, many in the American workplace -- because of their sex, race or ethnicity -- don't get equal pay for equal work. Unlawful pay discrimination shortchanges workers by thousands of dollars a year, affecting people's...

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The President Stands With Families of Victims of Gun Violence to End the Epidemic

(18) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 3:19 PM

Last night, I had the honor to speak at the 3rd Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence, hosted by the Newtown Foundation. I joined more than 300 people at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., a group that included more than 60 families who had lost...

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A Look Back at an Out-Standing Year for LGBT Advocacy

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2015 | 4:44 PM

Each year, OUT Magazine honors 100 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals who have made our world a more just and equal place. And on Wednesday, I had the privilege of accepting OUT's "Ally of the Year" award on behalf of President Obama. We also celebrated the other 99 people...

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Relief For People With Medicare

(45) Comments | Posted November 10, 2015 | 5:13 PM

Seniors can breathe a sigh of relief today, as the final 2016 premiums and deductible for Medicare were announced. For about 70 percent of beneficiaries, premiums will not change -- staying at 2015's $104.90. And for the remaining beneficiaries, the standard premium will be $121.80 -- $37.50 less per month...

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Tremendous Progress on the First Anniversary of It's On Us

(3) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 3:03 PM

One year ago, the President and the Vice President launched the It's On Us campaign with Generation Progress. It's On Us was created to increase public awareness and education around preventing sexual violence on our nation's campuses. Our partners are students and survivors, activists, college administrators and the...

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2020 Vision: Our Updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 11:41 AM

Today, the Obama Administration is releasing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Updated to 2020 ("Updated Strategy"). Since we released the nation's first comprehensive HIV/AIDS strategy in 2010, we've made tremendous progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS. More people living with HIV know their status and are linked to care....

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A Memorable Month of Pride in America

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 7:26 PM

For too long, same-sex couples have fought tirelessly for their basic civil rights. Loving, committed partners, along with millions of families and supporters, have challenged the status quo, and demanded that all Americans receive equal treatment under the law, and the opportunity for them and their families to live anywhere...

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Invest In Your "Healthy Self" (and Post a #HealthySelfie While You're At It)

(2) Comments | Posted June 11, 2015 | 10:30 AM

Today, the Obama administration is launching the "Healthy Self" campaign to encourage healthy lifestyles and connect people to the coverage and care they need. But first let us tell you about Alicia. A wife and mother of two from Houston, Alicia knows how important her health is, not only for...

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Great Strides for Women's Health Under the Affordable Care Act

(55) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 11:31 AM

President Obama has said repeatedly that "when women succeed, America succeeds." And over the past year, millions of women have gained the security of knowing that their professional, academic, financial, and personal dreams will not be put in jeopardy if they face a health challenge. Today, the Department of Health...

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A 21st Century Workplace for Today's Working Families

(3) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 11:06 AM

Every day in America, there are single moms struggling to take sick children to doctors' appointments because missing work isn't an option. Working dads find themselves straining to focus at work, because their employer doesn't provide paternity leave that would enable them to contribute at home and bond with their...

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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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