There are many heights in different careers, with many of them having a profound impact on the lives of those their work concerns. However, no career has the level of impact being the President of the United States does, not just on the citizens of the country, but the world at large. Therefore, to be one of the most trusted allies of a person in this position is in itself, a great honor and that was what Valerie Jarrett enjoyed as the senior advisor to Barack Obama when he was the President of the United States.
Aside from that prestigious role, she is also an American businesswoman. Learn more about one of the most important women in recent American history by reading below.
Who is Valerie Jarrett? – Bio and Ethnicity
Right from the beginning of her life, Jarrett had become a part of a higher calling as she was born to American parents who worked as parts of efforts to make the lives of people living in developing countries better. Her father – James E. Bowman, a geneticist, and pathologist and her mother – Barbara T. Bowman, a professor, and child education expert were working in Shiraz, Iran, when Valerie Jarrett was born on the 14th of November 1956. She spent the first five years of her life living in Shiraz until the family moved to London and then to Chicago.
As for her ethnicity, she is mixed. Her parents are of European and African-American descent with a DNA analysis suggesting she is also part Native American while her European roots are believed to be French and Scottish.
Although she started her primary education in Iran and continued in London, she completed her high school education at Northfield Mount Hermon in 1974 before moving on to the prestigious Stanford University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and then later, a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.
After completing her education, Valerie Jarrett worked in a law firm in Chicago, practicing corporate and real estate law until 1987 when she made a career move to politics. Her motivation for the switch isn’t public knowledge at this present time, but one imagines it is the effect of the principles imbibed in her by her parents who dedicated their lives to helping others and there are fewer ways to do so than through politics.
She joined the office of Harold Washington, who at the time was the Mayor of Chicago and worked as the deputy corporation counsel for finance and development in local Chicago municipal politics until 2005. Even after the death of Harold Washington, Jarret worked in various other capacities as deputy of chief of staff, commissioner of the department of planning and development and chairwoman of the Chicago Transit Board.
Despite a colorful resume, her defining career achievement and claim to fame was her role as senior advisor to Barack Obama during his administration. Their relationship, which lasted throughout his tenure as president was a continuation of their close friendship which had begun since their days of local Chicago politics. However, before she joined the campaign and transition team of Obama, she was the CEO of the Habitat Company. She was also a member of the board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, University of Chicago Medical Center, and a few other appointee positions. She received her greatest appointment of all on the 20th of January 2007 when she resumed her role as Director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and as Senior Advisor to the President.
Since vacating her role as senior advisor at the completion of Obama’s tenure as President, she has served in other capacities as the Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation, as one of the boards of directors of Ariel Investments, 2U, Inc., Lyft, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She was given an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Colby College in 2016 and in 2018, she served as a distinguished senior fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.
Valerie Jarrett’s Husband, Daughter, Parents
Valerie Jarrett is a divorcee who was married to William Robert Jarrett. She got married to William in 1983 and the marriage produced a daughter, Laura Jarrett, who like her mother, is also an attorney and a reporter for CNN. Valerie’s marriage to William ended in divorce in 1988 but they had separated a year before.
Valerie Jarrett was actually born Valerie June Bowman to James and Barbara Bowman. Just like herself, her parents served the public as a scientist and an educator respectively.