NORTH PARK — Valerie Jarrett, who served as a senior adviser to Barack Obama during both of his terms as president, will deliver the commencement address at Northeastern Illinois University's May graduation ceremony.
Jarrett will also receive an honorary doctorate from NEIU.
During her tenure as a senior adviser to the president, Jarrett oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and was chairwoman of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Jarrett, who earned a law degree from the University of Michigan, first entered politics as a deputy corporation counsel to Mayor Harold Washington.
Her connection to the Obamas dates back to the early 1990s when Jarrett, in her role as deputy chief of staff to Mayor Richard Daley, recruited the-then Michelle Robinson to the mayor's office.
Jarrett has also held a number of positions in the private sector, including CEO of The Habitat Company and chairman of the board of the Chicago Stock Exchange.
NEIU's commencement will be held May 8 and the UIC Pavilion.