About the Foundation

OVERVIEW

The Biden Foundation was established to carry on a lifetime of public service, capped by eight historic years with President Obama. Officially established as an operating, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, the Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors, including: former U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman (Board Chair), Hon. Mark Gitenstein (President), Mark Angelson (Vice Chair and Treasurer), Valerie Biden Owens (Vice Chair) and Jeffrey Peck (Vice Chair). The Foundation’s Executive Director is Louisa Terrell.

The Biden Foundation will build upon Vice President and Dr. Biden’s lifelong commitment to protect and advance the rights and opportunities of all people through educational programming and public policy analysis. Initially, the Foundation’s areas of focus will be:

  • Advancing Community Colleges
  • Ending Violence Against Women
  • Ensuring LGBTQ Equality
  • Protecting Children
  • Shaping Foreign Policy
  • Strengthening the Middle Class
  • Supporting Military Families

 

OUR MISSION

Vice President Biden has played a unique role in our country throughout his years of public service. He has championed — and will continue to champion — progress and prosperity for American families.

The Biden Foundation will build upon that mission: to identify policies that advance the middle class, decrease economic inequality, and increase opportunity for all people. And, to ensure that everyone — no matter their income level, race, gender, age, or sexuality — is treated equally and gets a fair shot at achieving the American Dream.

We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. It is more important than ever before to move the country forward and keep working towards the ideals that ensure that the American Dream can be a reality for all.

Leaning on the knowledge of the world’s foremost experts, most experienced hands and brightest minds, the Biden Foundation will lead this next research and educational venture. But, it will take all of us, working together, to help Vice President and Dr. Biden complete this mission.

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"Together, we're on a mission. We're on a mission to move this nation forward from doubt and downturn to promise and prosperity — a mission we will complete."

- Joe Biden

Leadership & Staff

Ted Kaufman

Ted Kaufman

Board Chair

Ted Kaufman

Board Chair

Ted Kaufman

Ted is a former United States Senator from Delaware where he served on the Foreign Relations, Armed Services, Judiciary, and Homeland Security Committees. In addition to his work on these committees he was deeply involved in the Dodd Frank Wall Street reform, advocating for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, and highlighting the value of federal employees.

He was the author of the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010, and named in the Edward “Ted” Kaufman and Michael Leavitt Presidential Transitions Improvement Act of 2015.

He served from 1973 to 1995 on the staff of United States Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., 19 of those years as Chief of Staff.

In 2015, he served as a Senior Adviser to the Vice President of the United States.

In 2008, he was Co-Chair of Vice President Biden’s Transition and served on President Obama’s Transition.

He serves on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Equity Market Structure Committee.

He serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of International Education, which is a private not-for-profit leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. He also serves on its Scholar Rescue Fund Selection Committee.

He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Democratic Institute, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide.

He serves on the Ministry of Caring Board and the Children and Families First Advisory Committee.

In 2012 and 2013, he was a member of the Federal Working Group on Streamlining Paperwork for Executive Nominations.

After he left the Senate, he was the Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

From 1995 until 2008, he was a Board member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the independent, autonomous, federal entity responsible for all U.S. government and government-sponsored non-military international broadcasting. He was appointed to the BBG by the Presidents Clinton and Bush and was confirmed by the Senate for four terms.

In 2016, after 26 years, he retired from the Duke University School of Law as a Visiting Professor of the Practice. During that time, he taught courses at the Duke University’s School of Law, Sanford School of Public Policy and Fuqua School of Business.

He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mark Gitenstein

Mark Gitenstein

President

Mark Gitenstein

President

Mark Gitenstein

Mark Gitenstein is special counsel in the Government & Global Trade practice in Mayer Brown LLP’s Washington, DC office. He was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States Ambassador to Romania, completing his term of service at the end of 2012. Along with Ted Kaufman, Mark was Co-Chair of Vice President Biden’s transition team in 2008.

As US Ambassador to Romania, Mark actively promoted a fair and transparent environment for all investors and encouraged greater private sector involvement in state-owned enterprises. In 2012, Romanian President Traian Băsescu awarded Mark with the Star of Romanian Grand Cross, the country’s highest civil order.

Before undertaking his ambassadorial role, Mark spent two decades as a partner at Mayer Brown. He was also previously the executive director of the Foundation for Change, Inc. and held several senior-level government positions, including chief counsel to the US Senate’s Judiciary Committee and chief counsel for the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Criminal Justice. He also served as counsel to the US Senate Intelligence Committee and counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights.

Mark is the author of Matters of Principle, an award-winning book on his experience managing the Judiciary Committee staff during the confirmation battle over the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.

Mark Angelson

Mark Angelson

Vice Chair and Secretary

Mark Angelson

Vice Chair and Secretary

Mark Angelson

Mark Angelson is a Trustee and Vice Chairman of the Institute of International Education (IIE), which administers the Fulbright Scholarships and more than 200 other international education programs. He is Chairman of the IIE 2019 Centennial Committee and Chairman of IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund and selection committee. His recent publications (with Dr. Allan Goodman) include “Protect Scholars in Fight Against Terrorism,” Indianapolis Star, 2015; “Offering Refuge to Endangered Scholars,” Los Angeles Times, 2014; and “Preserving Syria’s Intellectual Capital,” Chicago Tribune, 2013.

Mark has worked on Biden campaigns for public office for over 30 years. He is a trustee of Northwestern University, a member of Northwestern’s investment committee and Adjunct Professor of Mergers and Acquisitions at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. In 2014, he was appointed Richard D. Heffner Public Service Professor at Rutgers University and then as a member of the Rutgers Board of Governors and Chairman of its Finance and Facilities Committee.

Mark is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Pilgrims Society (London and New York) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce. He is a member of the board of directors of Quad/Graphics, Inc.

In 2011 and 2012, Mr. Angelson served as the Deputy Mayor of the City of Chicago and Chairman of the Mayor’s Economic, Budgetary and Business Development Council.

From 1996-2010, as a private investor and as Chairman and CEO of a variety of public companies, including RR Donnelley (Chicago), Moore Corporation (Toronto), Moore Wallace (NYC) and WorldColor Press (Montreal), Mark was a leader of the transformation and consolidation of the printing industry.

He began his career in 1975 as a lawyer with Sullivan & Cromwell. From 1982 through 1995, he practiced with Sidley & Austin.

Mark graduated from Rutgers College in 1972, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and from Rutgers Law School in 1975. He is a member of the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni, the highest honor that Rutgers can bestow on an alumnus. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the John Marshall Law School in 2006.

Valerie Biden Owens

Valerie Biden Owens

Vice Chair

Valerie Biden Owens

Vice Chair

Valerie Biden Owens

Valerie Biden Owens has served as the Executive Vice President of Joe Slade White and Company for 15 years. She is considered to be one of the first women in the nation to have managed both a modern U.S. Senate campaign as well as a Presidential campaign.

Valerie has managed every campaign of her brother Joe Biden’s political career (as she likes to joke “since 8th Grade Class President”) including seven straight victories for the U.S. Senate, runs for two Democratic presidential nominations, as well as his successful campaign for Vice President, as part of the Obama/Biden ticket. She also serves as his principal surrogate on the campaign trail.

In the fall semester of 2014, Valerie was named a Resident Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has served on the National Board of the Women’s Leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee. She has also traveled extensively throughout the world as a volunteer instructor with Women’s Campaign International to train women in emerging democracies to become effective agents of change.

In March of 2015, Harvard University Law School honored Valerie Biden Owens as one of the 50 “Women Inspiring Change” from around the world. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

Jeffrey Peck

Jeffrey Peck

Vice Chair and Treasurer

Jeffrey Peck

Vice Chair and Treasurer

Jeffrey Peck

Jeff Peck joined Peck Madigan Jones in May 2001, and has been Chairman of the Tiber Creek Group for the past several years. He is widely recognized as a leading Democratic strategist on a wide range of advocacy issues.

Between 1987 and 1992, Jeff served as General Counsel and then Majority Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired during this period by then Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE). During his tenure at the Judiciary Committee, he played a leading role on four Supreme Court nominations (Robert Bork, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter and Clarence Thomas), proposed constitutional amendments to ban flag burning, the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990 and a number of intellectual property and antitrust issues.

Jeff is the author of numerous articles and has been quoted in more than 175 news articles and publications including USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The San Jose Mercury News, The Houston Chronicle, Reuters, Bloomberg, The San Francisco Chronicle, CFO Magazine and Fortune Magazine.

Jeff is a graduate of Duke University and the University of Chicago Law School. He is also a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke University School of Law, where he teaches a course on Federal Policy Making.

Mala Adiga

Mala Adiga

Director for Higher Education and Military Families

Mala Adiga

Director for Higher Education and Military Families

Mala Adiga

Mala Adiga is the Biden Foundation’s director for higher education and military families. Previously she served in the U.S. Department of State in the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues as chief of staff and senior advisor to the Ambassador-at-Large and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

In her role as DAS, she oversaw a wide range of international educational programs, including the Fulbright and Gilman Programs. Before this position, Mala served as Director for Human Rights in the National Security Staff’s (NSS) Multilateral and Human Rights Directorate at the White House. Prior to joining NSS, she was an attorney at the Department of Justice, where she served as Counsel to the Associate Attorney General.

Before entering government service, Mala worked for the Obama presidential campaign for nearly two years. Prior to the campaign, she worked as a litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago and then clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon in the Northern District of Indiana. Mala earned her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and her M.P.H. from the University of Minnesota. She graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa with a B.A. in Spanish.

Emily Hecht-McGowan

Emily Hecht-McGowan

Director for LGBTQ Equality

Emily Hecht-McGowan

Director for LGBTQ Equality

Emily Hecht-McGowan

Emily Hecht-McGowan is the Director for Equality and will lead the Foundation’s LGBTQ work, building on the Vice President’s longstanding commitment to equality and progress for all. Prior to joining the Biden Foundation, Emily spent almost eight years as Family Equality Council’s Chief Policy Officer, where she led the organization’s efforts to ensure full legal recognition and protection for LGBTQ parents and their children through advocacy, grassroots mobilization, and public education campaigns. During her tenure, Emily spearheaded Family Equality’s work in the movement for nationwide marriage equality both in the courts and at the legislative level, worked across federal agencies to expand access to public benefits and programs, and advanced pro-LGBTQ legislation in Congress and state legislatures across the country.

From 2006 to 2009, Emily served as a Senior Staff Attorney and then as Legal Director for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, where she assisted service members and veterans in all branches of the U.S. military impacted by “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and related forms of discrimination. Before joining SLDN, Emily was the Assistant Section Director for the American Bar Association’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities where she coordinated the ABA’s civil rights, human rights, and social justice policy work.

Emily holds a J.D. from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law and B.A. in history from American University. In 2013, she was recognized by the National LGBT Bar Association as one of the “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.” Emily is admitted to the bar in both Virginia and the District of Columbia and lives in Takoma Park, MD, with her wife Sharon and their two daughters.

Lucy Moore

Lucy Moore

Special Assistant

Lucy Moore

Special Assistant

Lucy Moore

Lucy Moore serves as the Special Assistant for the Biden Foundation. In her role, she supports the Executive Director and Policy Directors on strategic planning, memo drafting and office management.

Lucy most recently served as Special Assistant to U.S. Secretary Thomas E. Perez at the Department of Labor, where she worked with agency leadership to develop all briefing materials for the Secretary. Prior to her role at DOL, Lucy was a White House intern with the National Economic Council, specifically focused on climate and workforce policy. Before moving to Washington, Lucy served in roles at Cerrell Associates in Los Angeles, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in San Jose, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, and abroad as a research intern for the Scottish Parliament.

Lucy received her B.A. from the University of Southern California, and is a proud native of Seattle, WA. She resides in Washington, D.C.

Katie Petrelius

Katie Petrelius

Director of Development

Katie Petrelius

Director of Development

Katie Petrelius

Katie serves as the Director of Development for the Biden Foundation. She is responsible for overseeing all major donor and direct marketing fundraising for the organization.

Most recently, Katie was the Deputy National Finance Director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Prior to that, she oversaw the Northeast region for the Committee, encompassing the New York tri-state area and New England. Katie played a pivotal role in managing high-level donor relationships, while also planning and executing events with Fortune 500 CEOs and surrogates such as former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and members of the Democratic Senate caucus.

Prior to the DSCC, Katie worked for Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III as his National Finance Director. Katie also spent time as a fundraising consultant for various House campaigns and initiatives. She started her career in fundraising as an intern for Biden for President in 2007.

Katie holds a B.A. in political science and French from Drew University. She is a proud native of Haddonfield, N.J., and resides in Washington, D.C.

Gautam Raghavan

Gautam Raghavan

Advisor for LGBTQ Equality

Gautam Raghavan

Advisor for LGBTQ Equality

Gautam Raghavan

Gautam Raghavan is an independent consultant who provides policy analysis and strategic counsel to progressive organizations focused on securing political power and social change.

Recently, Gautam served as Vice President of Policy for the Gill Foundation, where he managed multi-million dollar investments to secure federal and state-level policies that ensure a level playing field for all LGBTQ Americans.

From 2011 to 2014, Gautam served as President Barack Obama’s liaison to the LGBTQ community as well as the Asian American & Pacific Islander community. In this role, he directed White House outreach to these communities on a broad range of issues including marriage equality, workplace nondiscrimination, transgender rights, bullying prevention, immigration reform, hate violence, and access to health care. Earlier in the Obama Administration, Gautam served as White House Liaison and Deputy White House Liaison for the U.S. Department of Defense and as Outreach Lead for the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Working Group.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Gautam worked to strengthen the progressive movement and expand the Democratic Party as director of the 2008 Obama campaign’s Asian American Finance Committee and as Midwest Finance Director for the Democratic National Committee under Chairman Howard Dean.

A first-generation immigrant, Gautam was born in India, raised in Seattle, and graduated from Stanford University. He is a board member of the Council for Global Equality, CenterLink, and OptionB.org.

Lynn Rosenthal

Lynn Rosenthal

Director for Violence Against Women Initiative

Lynn Rosenthal

Director for Violence Against Women Initiative

Lynn Rosenthal

Lynn Rosenthal is the Director for Violence Against Women Initiative at the Biden Foundation. She leads the Foundation’s work to prevent sexual and domestic violence through cultural change and support for survivors.

From 2009 to 2015, Lynn served as the first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women.  She co-chaired the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault on behalf of Vice President Biden and was the key advisor on its recommendations. Lynn represented the Vice President on the White House Council on Women and Girls and co-chaired the Federal Interagency Group on HIV/AIDS and Violence Against Women. After leaving the White House, Lynn was the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.  In 2015, Lynn was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders and received the Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award.

From 2000 to 2005, Lynn served as the executive director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence where she played a key role in advocating for the Violence Against Women Act and worked closely with corporate leaders to develop new initiatives addressing domestic violence. She was the executive director of state domestic violence coalitions in Florida and New Mexico, and began her work at the grassroots as a women’s health activist and organizer. Lynn was born in New Mexico, raised in beautiful Miami and today lives in Mount Rainier, MD, with her wife Jennifer.

Louisa Terrell

Louisa Terrell

Executive Director

Louisa Terrell

Executive Director

Louisa Terrell

Prior to starting her role as the Executive Director of the Biden Foundation, Louisa most recently served as Advisor to the Chairman at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) where she guided policy development, operations and personnel, as well as managed Congressional outreach and coordination with other federal agencies and Administration offices.

Prior to her work at the FCC, Louisa served as Chief of Staff to Senator Cory A. Booker, establishing the Senator’s Washington, DC, and New Jersey offices immediately after the 2013 special election, and shaping legislative strategy.

In 2011, she joined Facebook as the Director of Public Policy, leading the company’s Congressional outreach efforts. Prior to that, Louisa spent two years at the White House serving as the Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs where she acted as a primary liaison with the U.S. Senate.

In 2008, Louisa joined the Obama/Biden presidential transition team from Yahoo! Inc. On the transition team, she served as a Congressional relations advisor to the Vice President-Elect’s transition team.

In 2006, she worked as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. From 2001 – 2006, she served as Counsel to the Committee on the Judiciary where she drafted legislation, including the Violence Against Women Act of 2005. Prior to that, Louisa worked at the Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and at Seyfarth Shaw in Boston, MA.

Louisa holds a J.D. from Boston College Law School and a B.A. in American Studies from Tufts University. As a native of Wilmington DE, Louisa is a regular on the Amtrak route between Wilmington and Washington, DC, where she currently lives with her husband and two daughters.

Lauren Thurman

Lauren Thurman

Digital Communications Specialist

Lauren Thurman

Digital Communications Specialist

Lauren Thurman

As the Biden Foundation’s Digital Communications Specialist, Lauren helps to promote online engagement through digital strategy, social media management, and web content development.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Lauren worked as a public affairs trainee and junior associate at the public relations firm Kivvit, where she helped clients with digital media solutions through content contributions and brand strategy recommendations. She also ghost-wrote and placed editorial content for a wide range of organizations, from household-name nonprofits to multinational corporations.

Before she moved to Washington, Lauren worked on political campaigns as a campus and field organizer, managed local businesses’ social media profiles, and edited the Opinion section of her university’s newspaper. She got her start knocking doors for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.

Lauren grew up in Boulder, CO, where she developed a love of hiking and good coffee, and currently lives in Arlington, VA. She holds a B.A. in English literature from the University of Colorado—Boulder.

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