Crosscut Talks

Valerie Jarrett’s Road to the White House

December 17, 2019

Few people know the Obamas as well as Valerie Jarrett. She first met Michelle Obama, then a young lawyer named Michelle Robinson, in 1991, while interviewing her for a job in Chicago city government. From there, Jarrett grew to be the Obamas' most trusted personal confidante -- a relationship that went all the way to the White House. Jarrett was President Barack Obama's longest-serving senior adviser. She oversaw the offices of public engagement and intergovernmental affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. In her memoir, Finding My Voice : My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward, Jarrett shares insights from the Obama White House as well as her own powerful journey. For this episode of the Crosscut Talks podcast, we invited Jarrett to discuss that journey, from growing up in 1960s Chicago to advising the nation's first black president, with New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie.