Fighting for Women's Equality

Featured Speaker: Valerie Jarrett


Join Equal Rights Advocates at our annual Gala Luncheon, June 14, 2019, in San Francisco. More information & tickets available here.

Valerie B. Jarrett is a senior advisor to the Obama Foundation, a Senior Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, one of the nation’s leading women in business and gender justice, and author of the new book “Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward.” She is also President of the Board of When We All Vote, a nonpartisan organization with the goal of encouraging voting, and co-chair of the United State of Women, which remains a vibrant voice on issues of women in leadership.

Ms. Jarrett was the longest serving Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. Throughout her tenure at the White House, where she oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, Ms. Jarrett made sure women and girls remained a national priority. She chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls, and co-chaired the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault. She championed the creation of equality and opportunity for all Americans through economic and political empowerment of women in the United States and around the world. She oversaw the Administration’s advocacy for workplace policies that empower working families, including equal pay, raising the minimum wage, paid leave, paid sick days, workplace flexibility, and affordable childcare. Ms. Jarrett also led campaigns to reform our criminal justice system, end sexual assault, and reduce gun violence, and worked to mobilize elected officials, business and community leaders, and diverse groups of advocates.

Spearheading the first-ever United State of Women Summit in 2016, Ms. Jarrett inspired over 100 companies to sign the White House’s Equal Pay Pledge to be transparent about their pay bands and to address bias leading to pay disparities.

Ms. Jarrett also has a background in both the public and private sectors. 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. She also served as the director of numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards, including Chair of the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chair of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.  She also serves on the boards of Ariel Investments, 2U, Lyft, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and the Economic Club of Chicago.

Ms. Jarrett has received numerous awards and honorary degrees, including TIME’s “100 Most Influential People,” and the Abner J. Mikva Legal Legends Award. She earned her B.A. from Stanford University in 1978 and her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

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