(The Root) — As President Obama prepares to begin his second term as the nation's commander in chief, we decided to take a look at the other powerful black men and women who will be shaping the nation's policy and political landscape in the coming year. Some names and faces may look familiar. However, we also highlighted others who have spent much of their careers behind the scenes — a position that will likely change this term. Read below for this year's power players.

1. Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to the President

Keli Goff is The Root’s special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter