Former Obama adviser joins Lyft’s board of directors

Former Obama adviser joins Lyft’s board of directors
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Valerie Jarrett has joined Lyft’s board of directors, the ride-hailing firm announced Monday.

Jarrett, who served as former President Obama’s senior adviser and assistant for public engagement and intergovernmental affairs, will be focused on tackling the problems and opportunities associated with urban transportation. At the White House, she worked on issues such as boosting economic opportunities and empowering families in the workplace.

Since Obama left office, Jarrett has joined Chicago-based Ariel Investments and has become an adviser for the Obama Foundation.

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“I am a frequent Lyft passenger and have been inspired by the strong community [co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green] have created that is dedicated to enlightened corporate values,” Jarrett said in a statement.

“We share a belief that reliable, affordable transportation positively impacts social mobility, and improves the quality of life in densely populated communities. I am thrilled to join the ride.”

Lyft said in a blog post that Jarrett will draw on her experience as Chicago's commissioner of planning and development and chair of the city's transit board.   

“Valerie is one of our country’s foremost leaders and a distinguished public servant, and a natural fit for our board,” said Green, who also serves as Lyft's CEO. “She will be a great partner for Lyft as we continue working alongside public transit agencies to provide upward mobility through transportation, reduce congestion, and ultimately reshape our cities.”

Jarrett isn’t the first Obama staffer to join the ride-hailing world.

Uber hired David Plouffe, who served as Obama’s campaign manager and senior adviser, to lead the firm’s policy shop in 2014. He was moved to a senior adviser role in 2015.