The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden
- Posted byon August 6, 2014 at 9:50 PM EDT
President Obama and African leaders took part in three action-oriented sessions today as part of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. The summit is the largest event any U.S. president has held with African heads of state and government, and builds on President Obama's trip to Africa last summer.
In remarks at this morning's opening session, the President explained the purpose of the event and noted the progress across the African continent -- and what that means for America:
We come together this week because, even as the continent faces significant challenges, as I said last night, I believe a new Africa is emerging. With some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, a growing middle class, and the youngest and fastest-growing population on Earth, Africa will help shape the world as never before.
Moreover, Africa’s progress is being led by Africans, including leaders represented here today. More governments are embracing economic reforms, attracting record levels of investment. Gains in development, increasing agricultural production, declining rates in infectious diseases are being driven by African plans. African security forces and African peacekeepers are risking their lives to meet regional threats. A new generation of young Africans is making its voice heard.
Africa’s rise means opportunity for all of us -- including the opportunity to transform the relationship between the United States and Africa. As I said in Cape Town last year, it’s time for a new model of partnership between America and Africa -- a partnership of equals that focuses on African capacity to solve problems, and on Africa’s capacity to grow. And that’s why we’re here.
- Posted byon August 4, 2014 at 9:49 AM EDT
Last month, Dr. Jill Biden traveled to Africa on a three-country visit, leading a delegation to Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. This trip focused on how girls’ education and women’s participation in government, the economy, and civil society can accelerate economic development, improve health and educational outcomes, strengthen democratic governance, and foster peace and security.
Dr. Biden had the opportunity to visit health clinics and a hospital for survivors of gender-based violence, speak at local schools to encourage the next generation to pursue their dreams, meet with women entrepreneurs who are spurring economic growth, and hear from women political leaders about their work to break barriers so more women can become voices of change in their communities.
Check out this video of highlights from Dr. Biden’s recent trip to Africa:
- Posted byon July 11, 2014 at 8:00 PM EDT
This Fourth of July week, the President welcomed some newly naturalized Americans, and spent time with middle-class Americans in Denver and Austin, while Dr. Jill Biden wrapped up a week-long trip to Africa.
- Posted byon July 7, 2014 at 9:45 AM EDT
Following Dr. Biden’s visit to Zambia, she traveled next to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), her second stop on a three-country visit to Africa.
Dr. Biden toured two cities in the DRC – Kinshasa, the country’s capital, and Bukavu, located in the eastern part of the Congo.
In Kinshasa, Dr. Biden met with women entrepreneurs who are creating their own successful small businesses. The DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world and remains near the bottom of many important economic indicators, so entrepreneurs – especially women entrepreneurs – play a vital role in overcoming these challenges and diversifying the DRC’s economy for the benefit of its people.
Among the successful female entrepreneurs that Dr. Biden met, Therese Izay Kirongoz’s story represents the important role women play in advancing and strengthening the global economy.
Therese worked in restaurants while attending engineering school and spent three years developing traffic-directing robots. Now, in addition to running a chain of local restaurants, Therese manufactures and sells the robots and hopes to distribute her product to neighboring countries.
“Like Therese, the steep challenges that all of you have overcome are truly remarkable. And your success – and your leadership – is instrumental in empowering more Congolese women to be successful,” Dr. Biden told the women entrepreneurs. “But we must do more to ensure that all women have the economic security and opportunities they deserve and their families need.”
- Posted byon July 3, 2014 at 6:54 PM EDT
This week, the President wrapped up a trip to Minneapolis, nominated a new VA Secretary, and caught some World Cup fever.
- Posted byon July 2, 2014 at 6:42 PM EDT
On Tuesday, Dr. Jill Biden arrived in Lusaka, Zambia, her first stop on a three-country visit to Africa. Dr. Biden is joined by Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues.
Dr. Biden’s trip to Africa will highlight the importance of girls’ education and women’s participation in government, the economy, and civil society in accelerating economic development; improving health and educational outcomes; strengthening democratic governance; and fostering peace and security.
Upon arrival, Dr. Biden met with Zambia’s Second Lady, Dr. Charlotte Harland Scott, to discuss the major issues affecting women in the country, with particular attention to education, gender-based violence, health, and economic empowerment. They were joined by government officials to discuss activities that the local ministries are carrying out to empower women and girls.
- Posted byon June 18, 2014 at 12:41 PM EDT
On Monday, June 23, 2014, this day-long event will feature remarks by the President, the First Lady, the Vice President, and Dr. Jill Biden, as they participate in a national conversation about how we can create 21st-century workplaces that work for all Americans.
Interested? Sign up for your chance to join other White House social media followers for the White House Summit on Working Families at WhiteHouse.gov/WH-Social-Working-Families. After you sign up, spread the word and tell your friends about the event by using the hashtag #WHSocial.
- Posted byon June 5, 2014 at 6:37 PM EDT
Dexter McCoy knew that going to college was the right decision for his future, but after graduating this spring from Boston University, he has something else on his mind: repaying about $30,000 in student loans.
Far too many American students, like Dexter, and their families are worried about paying for college or are struggling with student loan payments. Over the past five years, the Administration has been listening to students tell their stories and has taken steps to help – including increasing the maximum Pell Grant by about $1,000 and providing loan repayment options like Pay As You Earn, which caps monthly payments at an amount that based on how much you’re making so student loan bills are more manageable.
But we want to do more. That’s why today, Dexter joined more than a dozen recent graduates, education advocates, economists, and college presidents for a discussion with Dr. Jill Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the White House about college affordability and student loans.
“It’s the story of many people my age across the country,” Dexter said. “It’s really important to me that the White House is taking steps to address this issue.”
- Posted byon May 24, 2014 at 6:27 AM EDT
Memorial Day is a very poignant and somber reminder for all Americans of the lives that have been lost in service to our Nation. This Memorial Day weekend, as the new Executive Director of Joining Forces, I have the deep honor of attending and supporting the 20th Annual Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp for Young Survivors. These events, held in and around Washington DC, will have 4,000 participants this year -- more than 500 children. As a service member, and past participant in the Good Grief Camp, this weekend is especially meaningful. The loss and the grief for many is still fresh and for mentors and other volunteers -- the work is very personal. So too, is the national commitment to honoring the fallen and assisting their families -- thanks to organizations like TAPS.
- Posted byon May 23, 2014 at 4:00 PM EDT
It was a busy week at the White House. This week, we got hyped up for next Tuesday's White House Science Fair; the Bidens traveled to Romania and Cyprus; the President took an unexpected walk over to the Department of the Interior; a new National Monument was designated; and the President talked baseball and tourism in Cooperstown. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.
Robots, marshmallow cannons, and Bill Nye: These are just some of the things that we love about the White House Science Fair. Next Tuesday, students from across the country will head to the White House to put their projects on display. You're going to want to tune in.