Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, is a mother and grandmother, a lifelong educator, a proud military mom, and an active member of her community. With the February 2017 launch of the Biden Foundation, Jill Biden and her husband will continue their commitment to strengthening the middle class, protecting women and children against violence, and supporting community colleges and military families.
As Second Lady, Dr. Biden worked to bring attention to the sacrifices made by military families, to highlight the importance of community colleges to America’s future, and to raise awareness around areas of particular importance to women, including breast cancer prevention, all while continuing to teach as a full-time English professor at a community college in Northern Virginia.
Dr. Biden has always said that community colleges are “one of America’s best kept secrets.” As a teacher, she sees how community colleges have changed the lives of so many of her students for the better. As Second Lady, she worked to underscore the critical role of community colleges in creating the best, most-educated workforce in the world. In 2012, she traveled across the country as part of the “Community College to Career” tour to highlight successful industry partnerships between community colleges and employers. In the fall of 2010, she hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Obama, and she continued to work on this outreach on behalf of the Administration – visiting campuses, meeting with students and teachers, as well as industry representatives around the country.
As a military mom, Dr. Biden understands firsthand how difficult it can be to have a loved one deployed overseas. Dr. Biden’s children’s book – Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops – was released in June 2012. Inspired by real life events, the book tells the story of a military family’s experience with deployment through the eyes of Dr. Biden’s granddaughter, Natalie, during the year her father is deployed to Iraq. The book also includes resources about what readers can do to support military service members and their families.
Through their Joining Forces initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Biden issued a national challenge to all Americans to take action and find ways to support and engage our military families in their own communities. Joining Forces aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of our society – citizens, communities, businesses, non-profits, faith-based institutions, philanthropic organizations, and government – to ensure that service members, veterans, and their families have the tools they need to succeed throughout their lives. At JoiningForces.gov, Americans can find many ways to take action.
In 1993, after four of her friends were diagnosed with breast cancer, Dr. Biden started the Biden Breast Health Initiative in Delaware, which has educated more than 10,000 high school girls about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. Dr. Biden and the Vice President have also served as the Honorary Co-Chairs for the Global Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C. As Second Lady, Dr. Biden continued to stress the importance of breast cancer research and early detection.
Dr. Biden has been an educator for more than three decades. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., she taught English at a community college in Delaware, at a public high school and at a psychiatric hospital for adolescents. Dr. Biden earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware in January of 2007. Her dissertation focused on maximizing student retention in community colleges. She also has two Master’s Degrees — both of which she earned while working and raising a family.
Jill and Joe’s daughter, Ashley, is a social worker and Executive Director of the Delaware Center for Justice; their son, Beau (1969-2015), was a lawyer, former Attorney General of the State of Delaware, and a Major in the Delaware Army National Guard; and the Bidens’ other son, Hunter, is a lawyer and Chairman of the World Food Program USA. They have a son-in-law, Howard, two daughters-in-law, Hallie and Kathleen, and are the proud grandparents of five incredible grandchildren: Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, Natalie, and Hunter. The oldest of five sisters, Jill Jacobs was raised just outside of Philadelphia in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania by Bonny and Donald Jacobs, both of whom are now deceased.