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What Is Valerie Jarrett Famous For?

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Valerie Jarrett gained notoriety for her close relationship as an adviser to President Barack Obama. Jarrett also oversaw the White House Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls during Obama's term. Prior to her service in the Obama administration, Jarrett was an adviser to then-candidate Obama and served as one of the co-chairs of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.

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Jarrett's influence over Obama and his decisions was beyond that of any other adviser to the president, according to The New Republic. Obama consulted Jarrett on every major decision he made and she had input on his Cabinet selections, ambassador appointments and judicial nominations. Jarrett also helped determine who got invited to sit in the First Lady’s Box for the annual State of the Union address and who attended state dinners and bill-signing ceremonies.

Before becoming involved with President Obama, Jarrett had served as the chairman of the board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Jarrett also served as chairman of the Chicago Transit Board and commissioner of Planning and Development for the city of Chicago, as well as deputy chief of staff for Chicago mayor Richard Daley.

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