A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Finalist for the NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Literary Work"
"Valerie has been one of Barack and my closest confidantes for decades... the world would feel a lot better if there were more people like Valerie blazing the trail for the rest of us."--Michelle Obama
"The ultimate Obama insider" (The New York Times) and longest-serving senior advisor in the Obama White House shares her journey as a daughter, mother, lawyer, business leader, public servant, and leader in government at a historic moment in American history.
When Valerie Jarrett interviewed a promising young lawyer named Michelle Robinson in July 1991 for a job in Chicago city government, neither knew that it was the first step on a path that would end in the White House. Jarrett soon became Michelle and Barack Obama's trusted personal adviser and family confidante; in the White House, she was known as the one who "got" him and helped him engage his public life. Jarrett joined the White House team on January 20, 2009 and departed with the First Family on January 20, 2017, and she was in the room--in the Oval Office, on Air Force One, and everywhere else--when it all happened. No one has as intimate a view of the Obama Years, nor one that reaches back as many decades, as Jarrett shares in Finding My Voice.
Born in Iran (where her father, a doctor, sought a better job than he could find in segregated America), Jarrett grew up in Chicago in the 60s as racial and gender barriers were being challenged. A single mother stagnating in corporate law, she found her voice in Harold Washington's historic administration, where she began a remarkable journey, ultimately becoming one of the most visible and influential African-American women of the twenty-first century.
From her work ensuring equality for women and girls, advancing civil rights, reforming our criminal justice system, and improving the lives of working families, to the real stories behind some of the most stirring moments of the Obama presidency, Jarrett shares her forthright, optimistic perspective on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring readers to lift their own voices.
In this insightful political insider memoir, Jarrett, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, tells of her career in the government. Raised in a prominent black family in 1960s Chicago, Jarrett graduated from Stanford and the University of Michigan Law School, and returned home to work in private practice. Realizing that public service was her calling, Jarrett took a job in the office of Mayor Harold Washington ("the chance to work with incredibly talented public servants gave me a purpose and satisfaction I'd never felt before"). As Mayor Richard Daley's deputy chief of staff in 1989, Jarrett hired Michelle Robinson, fianc e of Barack Obama, and the three forged a close-knit friendship; Jarrett later agreed to chair Obama's Senate race finance committee and to be an advisor for his presidential bid. After Obama's election, she became his senior adviser and writes proudly about how satisfying it was to have been part of an administration that addressed such issues as health care and passed a bill to allow "openly gay men and women in the military." Along the way, she includes such memorable moments as when a speechless Michael Jordan learned he would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Jarrett movingly captures life as a public servant in this detailed, well-told memoir