The Biden Foundation builds upon Vice President and Dr. Biden’s lifelong commitment to public service. Through educational programming and public policy analysis, we’re working to build a world where all people are equal in dignity and opportunity.
Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., represented Delaware for 36 years in the U.S. Senate before becoming the 47th Vice President of the United States.
Vice President Biden was born November 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the first of four siblings. In 1953, the Biden family moved from Pennsylvania to Claymont, Delaware. He graduated from the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School and served on the New Castle County Council. Then, at age 29, he became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate.
Just weeks after the election, tragedy struck the Biden family when then Senator-elect Biden’s wife, Neilia, and their one-year-old daughter, Naomi, died and his two sons were injured in an auto accident. Vice President Biden was sworn into the U.S. Senate at his sons’ hospital bedside and began commuting to Washington every day by train, a practice he maintained throughout his career in the Senate.
In 1977, Vice President Biden married Jill Jacobs. Jill Biden, who holds a Doctorate in Education, is a lifelong educator and currently teaches at a community college in Northern Virginia. The Vice President’s son, Beau, was Delaware’s Attorney General from 2007–2015 and a Major in the 261st Signal Brigade of the Delaware National Guard. He was deployed to Iraq from 2008–2009. Beau passed away in 2015 after battling brain cancer with the same integrity, courage, and strength he demonstrated every day of his life. The Vice President’s second son, Hunter, is an attorney who manages a private equity firm in Washington, D.C. His daughter Ashley is a social worker and Executive Director of the Delaware Center for Justice. Vice President Biden has five grandchildren: Naomi, Finnegan, Roberta Mabel (“Maisy”), Natalie, and Robert Hunter.
As a Senator from Delaware for 36 years, Vice President Biden established himself as a leader in facing some of our nation’s most important domestic and international challenges. As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years, then-Senator Biden was widely recognized for his work on criminal justice issues, including the landmark 1994 Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act. As Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for 12 years, then-Senator Biden played a pivotal role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. He has been at the forefront of issues and legislation related to terrorism,
weapons of mass destruction, post-Cold War Europe, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia.
As the 47th Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden continued his leadership on
important issues facing the nation and represented America abroad, traveling over 1.2 million miles to more than 50 countries. Vice President Biden convened sessions of the President’s Cabinet, led interagency efforts, and worked with Congress in his fight to raise the living standards of middle class Americans, reduce gun violence, address violence against women, and end cancer as we know it. Since leaving the White House in January, Vice President Biden continues his legacy of expanding opportunity for all, both in the United States and abroad, with the creation of the Biden Foundation, the Biden Cancer Initiative, the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware. Through these nonprofit organizations, Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden will develop programs designed to advance smart policies, convene experts and world leaders on the issues they care most about, and impact the national debate about how America can continue to lead in the 21st century. In addition, early this summer, Vice President Biden announced the formation of his political action committee, “American Possibilities,” which will allow him to continue to support Democratic candidates and causes across the country.
Dr. Jill Biden is a lifelong educator and served as Second Lady of the United States from 2009–2017.
As Dr. Biden often says, being a teacher isn’t just what she does — it’s who she is. She spent over three decades teaching in community colleges, high schools, and a psychiatric hospital for adolescents. She has two master’s degrees — both of which she earned while working and raising a family — and she earned her Doctorate in Education from the University of Delaware in January of 2007. Her dissertation focused on maximizing student retention in community colleges.
As Second Lady, she worked to underscore the critical role of community colleges in creating the best, most educated workforce in the world. She hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Community Colleges with President Obama and led the Community College to Career Tour across the country to highlight industry partnerships between community colleges and employers. Today, she continues to teach at a community college in Northern Virginia — a position she held throughout her time in the White House — and is the honorary chair of the College Promise National Advisory Board, leading the effort to make community colleges free for responsible students.
As a military mom, Dr. Biden understands the experiences of military families: supporting their service members, feeling incredible pride for their work, and carrying the fear that comes with this sacrifice. In her role as Second Lady, she brought significant attention to the struggles of military families, in part through her and former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative to support military families worldwide. Dr. Biden also released a children’s book in 2012 — Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops — about how her family dealt with her son Beau’s deployment to Iraq.
Dr. Biden has also been a prominent voice on the rights and welfare of women and girls, especially as related to education. During her White House tenure, she traveled to nearly 40 countries, visiting almost every region of the world. She now serves as the Board Chair of Save the Children US.
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. And after Dr. Biden and former Vice President Joe Biden lost their son Beau to brain cancer in 2015, they helped push for a national commitment to ending cancer as we know it. Today, they continue the mission that started as the White House Cancer Moonshot through the Biden Cancer Initiative to inject a sense of urgency into cancer research and care and to deliver better outcomes for patients.
Following their time in the Administration, Dr. Biden and Vice President Biden launched the Biden Foundation, continuing their work to strengthen the middle class, protect women and children against violence, advocate for community colleges, and support military families.
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 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 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 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.
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.