Valerie Jarrett – A Friend Indeed

This is Part 1 in a week long series titled African-Americans in the Obama Administration: A Look Ahead. Today’s post focuses on Chicago political heavyweight and business executive Valerie Jarrett.

Last spring, Newsweek gave us the first look at the relationship between Valerie Jarrett and the Obama family. In 1991, Jarrett hired Michelle Robinson –then Barack Obama’s fiancée- to work as an aid to Chicago Mayor Richard Daly. She has been advising the couple ever since.

Jarrett is CEO of Habitat Co., a real estate company that has been acting as a court-appointed receiver of the Chicago Housing Authority (USA Today). Jarrett was born in Iran, but her family moved to Chicago’s Hyde Park when she was 7. She started in Chicago politics working for Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor.

Mrs. Jarrett is the co-chair of the Obama transition team along with Pete Rouse and John Podesta. She was on Sunday’s Meet the Press with Tom Brokaw where the discussion surrounded the make up of Obama’s cabinet and how he would assemble his team.

Click here for full transcript and video of Jarrett’s appearance on Meet the Press.

“We will be looking to be efficient transparent, bipartisan.” Jarrett told Browkaw. “We want the American people to understand the transition and how we’re moving forward.”

Jarrett herself has been mention as a potential cabinet member, possibly serving as Transportation Secretary or leading the Department of Housing and Urban Development. On Sunday, CNN reported that Jarrett is Obama’s choice for his replacement in the Senate. The woman Barack Obama calls “practically a sister” will have his ear whether its in an official role in the administration or not.

Tuesday – John Rogers: Putting his money where his mouth is

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