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Valerie Jarrett with Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward
June 7, 2019
Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. Before joining the White House, she served as the chief executive officer of The Habitat Company in Chicago, chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, commissioner of Planning and Development, and deputy chief of staff for Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley. Jarrett has received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including Time’s “100 Most Influential People.” She received her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981. She is currently a senior adviser to the Obama Foundation and Attn and a senior distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.
About Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward
“Valerie has been one of Barack and my closest confidantes for decades… the world would feel a lot better if there were more people like Valerie blazing the trail for the rest of us.”–Michelle Obama
“The ultimate Obama insider” (The New York Times) and longest-serving senior advisor in the Obama White House shares her journey as a daughter, mother, lawyer, business leader, public servant, and leader in government at a historic moment in American history.
When Valerie Jarrett interviewed a promising young lawyer named Michelle Robinson in July 1991 for a job in Chicago city government, neither knew that it was the first step on a path that would end in the White House. Jarrett soon became Michelle and Barack Obama’s trusted personal adviser and family confidante; in the White House, she was known as the one who “got” him and helped him engage his public life. Jarrett joined the White House team on January 20, 2009 and departed with the First Family on January 20, 2017, and she was in the room–in the Oval Office, on Air Force One, and everywhere else–when it all happened. No one has as intimate a view of the Obama Years, nor one that reaches back as many decades, as Jarrett shares in Finding My Voice.
Born in Iran (where her father, a doctor, sought a better job than he could find in segregated America), Jarrett grew up in Chicago in the 60s as racial and gender barriers were being challenged. A single mother stagnating in corporate law, she found her voice in Harold Washington’s historic administration, where she began a remarkable journey, ultimately becoming one of the most visible and influential African-American women of the twenty-first century.
From her work ensuring equality for women and girls, advancing civil rights, reforming our criminal justice system, and improving the lives of working families, to the real stories behind some of the most stirring moments of the Obama presidency, Jarrett shares her forthright, optimistic perspective on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring readers to lift their own voices.