On Monday, Ariel Investments L.L.C. announced that Valerie Jarrett, a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, was elected to join the company’s Board of Directors.
“With her wealth of experience from an extraordinary public and private sector career, we are simply delighted to have Valerie join our company board. We know Ariel will benefit greatly from her insights, expertise and vision,” said John W. Rogers Jr., founder, chairman and chief investment officer of Ariel Investments in a press release. As of 2017, Ariel Investments L.L.C., a money management firm headquartered in Chicago, reported over $11 billion in assets.
Jarrett, the longest-serving senior advisor to President Obama, joins another alum from the Obama administration who sits on the board, Arne Duncan, U.S. secretary of education from 2009 to 2015. Jarrett will also sit on the board alongside notable African American business leaders like Mellody Hobson, the president and chair of the Board of Trustees of Ariel Investments, and Paget Alves, the former chief sales officer at Sprint Communications Corp.
During her tenure at the White House, Jarrett ran the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. She also spearheaded the previous administration’s efforts to expand and strengthen the middle class and American business.
In addition to working in the public sector, Jarrett has valuable experience in the private sector, working as the CEO of The Habitat Co. in Chicago. Plus, the University of Michigan Law School graduate practiced with private law firms for six years.
“It is worth noting that Valerie’s father, Dr. James Bowman, was one of our original directors until his death, so there is a great sense of symmetry and continuity with Valerie joining our board. I know Valerie will be a tremendous asset and look forward to working with her,” Rogers added in the press release.