Los Angeles Times

Valerie Jarrett, 53, senior advisor to President Obama

Political ties: A Chicago lawyer and political activist who got her start as a lawyer in the Harold Washington administration. She went on to become deputy chief of staff under Daley, where she met the Obamas when she offered the future first lady a job in 1991. She also served stints as Daley's commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development and chair of the Chicago Transit Board. When she joined Obama’s administration, she was CEO of The Habitat Company. She is now one of Obama's most trusted confidantes. Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago Tribune