Fall Speaker Series at N.C. A&T to Feature Former Obama Administration Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett


Greensboro, N.C. (Sept. 18, 2017) - North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will welcome Valerie Jarrett, longest-serving senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, as the keynote speaker for the fall Chancellor’s Speaker Series, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, in the Alumni Foundation Event Center. 

Jarrett is scheduled for the invitation-only discussion, “Women in STEM,” to be moderated by Erica Baker, senior engineer at Slack Technologies and advocate for diversity and inclusion in technology. This event aligns with the university’s fall 2017 lecture and discussion initiatives dedicated to women’s issues. 

As a top producer of engineering degrees awarded to African Americans across all levels, N.C. A&T remains deeply invested in providing the foundational and educational structure necessary to ensure all individuals are substantially prepared for advanced tech fields, including women. This edition of the speaker series provides another level of addressing comprehensive gender, racial and educational equality. 

In addition to being widely noted as a longtime and trusted confidant to President and First Lady Obama, Jarrett oversaw the White House Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. While championing the creation of equality and opportunity for all Americans, she strategically advocated for global women’s economic and political empowerment. 

Throughout her White House tenure, Jarrett led the administration’s support of workplace policies that consider and empower working families for equal pay, increased minimum wage, paid leave and sick days, affordable childcare and associated workplace flexibility. 

Named one of TIMES “100 Most Influential People,” Jarrett is the former CEO of The Habitat Company in Chicago, chairwoman of the Chicago Transit Board, commissioner of Planning and Development, deputy chief of staff for mayor Richard Daley and director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Her portfolio includes extensive public and private sector service. 

Erica Baker is tasked with ensuring an engaging conversation. Her career began as a domain administrator for the University of Alaska System. Following, she became a “Googler,” rising from a support technician to a site reliability engineer. Baker consistently uses her expert knowledge and enthusiasm to help springboard women, young and old toward proficiency and parity in tech fields. She serves as a tech mentor for Black Girls Who Code, is a founding member of Project Include, was the 2015 Level Playing Field Institute Lux Award winner and was included in WIRED Magazine’s 2016 NextList. 

The Chancellor’s Speaker Series will continue to feature guest lecturers of national and global recognition who reflect preeminence in their respective fields and add substantive value to current dialogue. 

For additional information on the Chancellor’s Speaker Series contact the Office of University Relations at 336-256-0863.