Laura Jarrett is a CNN anchor and a former litigation attorney who has made a name for herself in the field of journalism. She is also the daughter of Valerie Jarrett, a prominent businesswoman and former senior advisor to President Barack Obama. But how close are they, and what do they have in common? Here are some facts about the mother-daughter duo that you may not know.
Family Background and Education
Laura Jarrett was born in 1983 to Valerie Jarrett and William Robert Jarrett, who divorced in 1988. She grew up in Chicago, where her mother was a successful lawyer and civic leader. She attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where she was a classmate of Malia Obama, the eldest daughter of Barack and Michelle Obama.
Laura Jarrett followed her mother’s footsteps and pursued a career in law. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 2010, where she was an editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Harvard College.
Valerie Jarrett was born in 1956 in Shiraz, Iran, where her father, James E. Bowman, was a pathologist and geneticist working at a hospital. Her mother, Barbara T. Bowman, was an early childhood education expert and co-founder of the Erikson Institute. Valerie Jarrett moved to London and then to Chicago with her family when she was young.
Valerie Jarrett also studied law at the University of Michigan Law School, where she earned her J.D. in 1981. She also has a B.A. in psychology from Stanford University.
Career Paths and Achievements
Laura Jarrett started her career as a litigation attorney at Mayer Brown LLP, where she worked on complex civil and criminal cases. She joined CNN as a justice reporter in 2016, covering the Justice Department and legal issues. She became an anchor for CNN’s Early Start program in 2020.
Laura Jarrett has reported on major stories such as the Mueller investigation, the Supreme Court nominations, the travel ban, the Russia probe, and the coronavirus pandemic. She has also interviewed prominent figures such as former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, and former White House Counsel Don McGahn.
Valerie Jarrett has had a distinguished career in both the public and private sectors. She served as the senior advisor to President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017, overseeing the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. She was also the chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and played a key role in advancing policies on health care, criminal justice reform, civil rights, climate change, and economic opportunity.
Before joining the Obama administration, Valerie Jarrett was the CEO of The Habitat Company, a real estate development and management firm. She also held various positions in Chicago city government, including deputy chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, commissioner of planning and development, and chair of the Chicago Transit Board.
Valerie Jarrett is currently the CEO of the Obama Foundation, which aims to inspire and empower people to change their communities and the world. She is also a senior distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, a board member of Lyft, Ariel Investments, Sweetgreen, Ralph Lauren Corporation, 2U Inc., When We All Vote, The Innocence Project, The Economic Club of Chicago, The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts; co-chair of The United State of Women; chair emerita of The University of Chicago Medical Center Board of Trustees; senior advisor to ATTN:; trustee of The Museum of Modern Art; co-chair of The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity; chair emerita of The Chicago Stock Exchange; chair emerita of After School Matters; member emerita of The Joyce Foundation; member emerita of The Urban Institute; member emerita of The Metropolitan Planning Council; member emerita of The Commercial Club; member emerita of The Economic Club; member emerita of The Chicago Network; member emerita of Leadership Greater Chicago; member emerita of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; member emerita of The Aspen Strategy Group; member emerita of The Trilateral Commission; member emerita of The Council on Foreign Relations.
Personal Life and Relationship
Laura Jarrett married Tony Balkissoon, a fellow Harvard Law School graduate and son of a Canadian politician Bas Balkissoon, in 2012. They met at Harvard Law School through mutual friends. They have one son together.
Valerie Jarrett married William Robert Jarrett, son of Chicago Sun-Times columnist Vernon Jarrett, in 1983. They divorced in 1988 but remained friends until his death in 1993. They had one daughter together, Laura.
Laura Jarrett and Valerie Jarrett have a close and supportive relationship. They often share their love and admiration for each other on social media and in interviews. They also co-authored a book titled Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward, which was published in 2019. The book chronicles Valerie Jarrett’s personal and professional journey, as well as her insights on leadership, family, and public service.