Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 at 7:00am

Second Lady Jill Biden Gets Involved

Posted by vicepresidents

second lady

Back in 2008, I wrote a piece about second lady Jill Biden. I’ve always admired her loyalty — campaigning with her husband in 1988 (when he first ran for President), and urging him to run again in 2004 and 2008. Jill has always believed in Joe and she loves traveling with him. Early on, it looked like she was going to pursue education (since she is an associate professor) and health care (inspired by three of her close friends being diagnosed with breast cancer). Yet, as second lady, she has done so much more.

Community Colleges

It is extremely unusual for a Second Lady to hold a regular job while living at Number One Observatory Circle, but that’s just what Jill was determined to do! She holds a position as associate professor at Northern Virginia Community College, where she teaches three English reading and writing classes twice a week. It’s a rare opportunity for students to attend regular office hours with the Veep’s wife! Her students may note that a few “random people” (Secret Service Agents) are hanging out inconspicuously in the shadows. During her time in the spotlight, Jill gave the commencement address at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn and the University of Delaware, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from CUNY, and hosted the first-ever “White House Summit on Community Colleges” to highlight the critical role that affordable community colleges play in America.

Support The Troops

Jill Biden frequently travels with her husband on important holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas to share meals with the troops, visit army hospitals, and meet with families of soldiers on duty. In August 2010, Biden appeared on an episode of Lifetime’s Army Wives to bring awareness to the plight of military families.

She also teamed up with Paula Deen to honor military wives at the “Operation Home Cooking” luncheon, the NASCAR military families barbecue, and worked alongside First Lady Michelle Obama on the “Joining Forces Initiative” to get military families more engaged with our nation’s communities, providing them with the support they need. She is currently working with Michelle to reduce the barriers for military wives to gain employment in their field and skip some of the licensing bureaucracy when they move to new states.

Health Care — At Home & Abroad

In September 2011, Dr. Biden supported USAID’s FWD campaign to push for awareness of the famine, war and drought affecting 13 million people in the Horn of Africa. She appeared in a TV spot in a series that also included A-list celebrities like Uma Thurman and Josh Hartnett.

She has also been running the “Biden Breast Health Initiative” in Delaware for the past 18 years to emphasize the importance of early breast screenings for young women. She has made appearances with Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius and celebrities like Jennifer Aniston to boost awareness.

Jobs

Most recently, Jill was given the important role of backing up the Obama-Biden team’s jobs initiatives. On February 24th, she’ll embark upon the “Community College to Career” tour, which will move from Columbus, Ohio to Greensboro, North Carolina. She will travel with US Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to highlight the role that community colleges play in “creating a flexible, highly-skilled 21st-century workforce to help businesses meet the specific emerging needs in their regions.”

Here, Jill briefly shares the highlights and lowlights of her time as Second Lady:

One thing is for sure: Jill Biden has been a very involved and humble Second Lady. We’re lucky to have her!

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© 2012 The VEEP: Thoughts & Analysis on the Vice Presidents