Valerie Jarrett. (Photo: AP)

Valerie Jarrett, a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, has been elected to Ariel Investments’ Board of Directors.

Jarrett, the longest serving senior advisor to Obama, also served as assistant to the president for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs in the Obama administration from January 2009 to January 2017.

Prior to that, she served as a co-chair of the Obama–Biden Transition Project.

Other roles include overseeing the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chairing the White House Council on Women and Girls.

With a background in both the public and private sectors, Jarrett has also served as CEO of The Habitat Co. in Chicago, chairwoman of the Chicago Transit Board, commissioner of planning and development, and deputy chief of staff and deputy corporation counsel for Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago.

“I have known Valerie for many, many years and have great admiration for her work ethic and commitment to Chicago and our nation,” said John Rogers Jr., founder, chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments, in a Monday statement. “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,” he said.

Jarrett practiced with private law firms for six years and served as the director of numerous corporate and not-for-profit boards, including as chairwoman of the board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, chairwoman of the University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees, and director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Mellody Hobson, wife of Star Wars creator George Lucas, is president of Chicago-based Ariel Investments.

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