From Politics to Polo: Valerie Jarrett Joins Ralph Lauren's Board of Directors

Valerie Jarrett speaks during the National Action Network Convention in New York, Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
Valerie Jarrett speaks during the National Action Network Convention in New York, Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
Photo: Seth Wenig (AP)

Valerie Jarrett was one of the most trusted advisers in President Obama’s administration, and in the years since, has lent her expertise as a board member of Ariel Investments, Lyft, the Kennedy Center, Time’s Up, and more, in addition to being Chair of the Board of When We All Vote, co-Chair of the United State of Women, and a Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation and media company ATTN:.


Oh, and did we also mention that the former attorney turned public servant turned New York Times bestselling author is also a senior distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago Law School?

We don’t know how she fits it all in, but Jarrett does it in style—and is now an adviser to another American icon. On Tuesday, Women’s Wear Daily reported that Jarrett had been named to the board of Ralph Lauren, welcomed by the famed designer himself.

“We are pleased to welcome Valerie to the Ralph Lauren board of directors,” said Ralph Lauren, the company’s executive chairman and chief creative officer (h/t WWD). “Valerie is a proven and highly respected leader with a clear passion for citizenship and making a positive impact on the world. Valerie’s breadth of experience across the public and private sectors and unparalleled expertise in government, law and leadership will bring new perspective as we continue to build the future of our iconic company.”

“Ralph Lauren’s purpose-driven culture and focus on aspiration, timelessness and optimism has long inspired me,” Jarrett said in a statement. “I am honored to join the company’s board of directors and look forward to contributing to the company’s continued growth and success and to be building on the longevity of this admired organization.”

Jarrett is the second person of color appointed to Ralph Lauren’s recently expanded (and from all appearances, formerly all-white) board of 13. Darren Walker, president and CEO of the Ford Foundation, also joined the board in recent months.

“Valerie’s unique perspective and insights as one of the country’s most distinguished leaders makes her an excellent addition to the Ralph Lauren board,” said Patrice Louvet, Lauren’s president and chief executive officer. “Her experience across the public and private sectors will be invaluable as we continue to write the next great chapter for our company.”

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?