Jill Biden is the First Lady of the United States, having previously been the Second Lady during the Obama administration between 2009 and 2017. She is a college educator and bestselling author.
Jill grew up in Pennsylvania before attending the University of Delaware, from which she graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s in English. A year later, she started teaching English at a high school while working towards her master’s in Education, which she obtained in 1981.
Jill and Joe married in 1977, two years after they met. She became the mother of his two sons from his previous marriage after their mother died in a car crash. Jill gave birth to their daughter, Ashley, in 1981.
She gained her second master’s degree, this time in English, while teaching English at Rockford Center psychiatric hospital. After various other teaching jobs, Jill obtained a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Delaware.
During her time as Second Lady, Jill continued to teach, working at Northern Virginia Community College. She also took on the responsibilities of her political position, advocating for women’s education worldwide and the importance of community colleges in the American education system.
This campaign point was particularly relevant considering the economic crash of 2008. Jill dedicated her time to highlighting the link between colleges and local employers, touring the country extensively.
Along with First Lady Michelle Obama, the two created the Joining Forces campaign, which supported military servicemen and their families. Jill has continued this work upon her return to the White House, this time as First Lady.
Jill Biden was a key player in her husband’s presidential campaign. This included interviews and appearances without Joe, along with ones that included both of them. She also remained a staunch advocate for education, which was an important topic at the time thanks to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, too, she was a key player in the selection of Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate.
After her husband’s inauguration, Jill has remained a teacher at Northern Virginia Community College. This makes her the first First Lady in American history to hold a paying job while her husband serves as President. She is also the first woman since Barbara Bush to hold the position of both First and Second Lady, but is the first since Pat Nixon to hold them non-consecutively.
Jill has remained an advocate of the same campaign messages she worked for as Second Lady: military families, cancer awareness, and education. One of her first activities was to revive the Joining Families project, which Melania Trump did not engage with during her time in the White House. She currently teaches remotely from a special room in the White House but will return to in-person teaching when possible.