In honor of Black History Month, Katten hosted a virtual fireside chat with Valerie Jarrett on February 8. Alisa Goodwin, Katten's Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, joined Jarrett in a discussion about resilience in the modern political and social era. Katten senior counsel Richard M. Daley, who previously served as mayor of Chicago, presented the event’s introductory remarks.
Jarrett, who worked in President Barack Obama's White House, is now Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of the Barack Obama Foundation. She is also a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and serves on several boards.
Having acted as the senior advisor to President Obama from 2009 to 2017, Jarrett has the distinction of being the longest serving senior advisor to a president in history. She oversaw the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. During her tenure, Jarrett worked to mobilize elected officials, business and community leaders, and diverse groups of advocates behind several civil, economic and social efforts, including championing equality and opportunity for all Americans.
Before joining the White House, Jarrett 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 she 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 roles 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. Jarrett has also received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including TIME's "100 Most Influential People" Award.