The White House Blog: Dr. Jill Biden

  • West Wing Week: 05/03/13 or “Nobody Does It Better”

    This week, President Obama spoke at the Planned Parenthood conference and the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, met with the King of Jordan, made five personnel announcements, celebrated the sciences and the Joining Forces Initiative, and embarked on a trip to Mexico and Costa Rica.


  • First Lady Michelle Obama Announces New Hiring Commitments for Veterans and Military Spouses

    First Lady Michelle Obama Makes a Veterans' Employment Announcement in the East Room, April 30, 2013

    First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during a Joining Forces initiative employment announcement for veterans and military spouses, in the East Room of the White House, April 30, 2013. Stage participants included, from left, Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

    Two years ago, President Obama announced a challenge to the private sector to hire or train 100,000 unemployed veterans or their spouses by the end of 2013.

    Today, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and Dr. Jill Biden all participated in a Joining Forces Employment event at the White House.

    The First Lady announced that America’s businesses nearly tripled the goal set by President Obama and did so eight months early. The private sector has already hired or trained 290,000 veterans and military spouses.

    The First Lady also announced that American companies have committed to hire or train another 435,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. 


  • Businesses Must Hire More Vets

    Ed note: This op-ed by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden was first published on Fortune.com. You can see the original article here.

    Two years ago, we launched Joining Forces, a nationwide campaign to rally all Americans to support our veterans and military families. We did this for two simple reasons: because we were both awed by the courage and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform who risk their lives every day to protect our values and keep us safe. We were also awed by their families, the spouses and children who serve right along with them, enduring deployment after deployment with grace and resolve.

    As we traveled the country visiting bases and military communities, everywhere we went, we heard from veterans who had years of training and experience in the military -- leading dozens, even hundreds of their peers; operating some of the most advanced technology; and solving complex problems under the most extreme conditions imaginable. But when they returned home, they struggled to find decent jobs. We met military spouses who'd spent decades moving from base to base every couple of years and struggled to maintain their careers. As the months passed, we saw that the unemployment rate for our most recent veterans remained far too high above the national average.

    These men and women are some of the highest-skilled, best-trained, hardest-working people in this country. They are medics and engineers, drivers and welders, computer technicians and machinists. They are eager to work and determined to keep on serving this country. All they need is a chance.


  • West Wing Week: 04/26/13 or “This Stuff’s Really Cool”

    This week, the Vice President traveled to Boston for a memorial for Officer Collier, and the President memorialized the victims of the West Texas explosion. The President also hosted the Amir of Qatar, the Teacher of the Year, the 3rd White House Science Fair, and visited Dallas with the First Lady for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.


  • President Obama and Vice President Biden’s 2012 Tax Returns

    Today, the President released his 2012 federal income tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $608,611. The Obamas paid $112,214 in total tax. 

    The President and First Lady also reported donating $150,034 – or about 24.6 percent of their adjusted gross income – to 33 different charities. The largest reported gift to charity was $103,871 to the Fisher House Foundation.

    The President’s effective federal income tax rate is 18.4 percent. The President believes we must reform our tax system which is why he has proposed policies like the Buffett Rule that would ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share while protecting families making under $250,000 from seeing their taxes go up. Under the President’s own tax proposals, including limitations on the value of tax preferences for high-income households, he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class and those trying to get in it.


  • Supporting our Veterans and Military Families on Campuses

    Over the next few years, more than a million service men and women will end their military careers and transition back to civilian life. Many of these veterans will decide to go back to school to finish their degrees, enroll in a community college for the first time, or work to obtain a master’s degree.

    That’s why, on our campus communities, we need to make sure that our veterans have access to the programs that will help them succeed and obtain good jobs to support their families.

    This April, as we mark the second anniversary of Joining Forces, I am pleased to be visiting several higher education institutions to learn more about what they are doing to support student veterans.

    Dr. Biden participates on a panel with student, faculty and staff veterans at George Washington University

    Dr. Biden participates on a panel with student, faculty and staff veterans at George Washington University (by Jessica McConnell Burt / The George Washington University)

    On Wednesday, I visited George Washington University to meet with student veterans and hear about several of their initiatives. While I was there, I heard from members of GW Vets, their student group representing more than 1,500 student veterans, military dependent students and allies across campus. 

    One of those students was Nichole Krom, a freshman who became involved in GW Vets as soon as she heard about it and is now the organization’s secretary. Nichole is not a veteran herself, but her father recently retired from the New York Air National Guard. She is a wonderful example of an important truth about our service men and women who sacrifice so much for our country – their families serve right alongside them.


  • Celebration of the Military Child Outdoors

    As we mark the second anniversary of Joining Forces and celebrate the Month of the Military Child, April gives us the opportunity to celebrate our nation's youngest heroes—the children whose parents serve in our Armed Forces.

    Military children face many unique challenges – on average, they attend six to nine different school systems by the time they graduate from high school. Through each transition, they have to leave their friends, try out for new sports teams, and adjust to a new school. 

    As a teacher, I have been so pleased to see the progress we are making to raise awareness and understanding about how to help military children in the classroom. Through Joining Forces, more than 100 colleges of teacher education have signed on to Operation Educate the Educators, an effort to help better prepare future teachers to help military children in the classroom.

    But as a military mother and grandmother, it is important to me that we are supporting our military children outside the classroom as well.


  • West Wing Week: 03/22/13 or “Reach Out to New Horizons”

    This week, the President spoke on American Energy Security at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, celebrated the luck of the Irish, honored leaders in STEM education and small business, filled out his NCAA tournament brackets, announced his nominee for the Secretary of Labor, and embarked on a 5 day trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan.


  • Celebrating Excellence in Community Colleges

    As a community college teacher, I know that excellence happens every day in community college classrooms and campuses across this country. Both in my classroom and when I’m on the road visiting community colleges, I am fortunate to see firsthand the tremendous impact these schools have on so many students.  I see students striving, teachers inspiring, and administrators innovating – each doing their best to make the community college experience richer and more meaningful. President Obama has made community colleges a centerpiece of his goal to have the best-educated, most competitive workforce in the world.

    Earlier today at the Newseum in Washington, DC, leaders in education and business congratulated Santa Barbara City College from California and Walla Walla Community College from Washington for being selected as co-winners of the 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Kingsborough Community College – CUNY from New York and Lake Area Technical Institute from South Dakota were honored as finalists-with-distinction.


  • President Obama Hosts a Celebration of Women's History Month at the White House

    President Barack Obama with First Lady Michelle Obama and Amanda McMillan at the Women’s History Month reception, March 18, 2013.

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the Women’s History Month reception in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2013. Standing at right are First Lady Michelle Obama and Amanda McMillan, who introduced the President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    President Obama today welcomed a group of accomplished and inspiring women to a reception in the East Room of the White House. The group, which included leaders like A&E Networks CEO Abbe Raven, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Girl Scouts' CEO Anna Maria Chávez, astronaut Sunita Williams, activists Dolores Huerta and Lilly Ledbetter, and WNBA star (and 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist) Tamika Catchings, joined the President, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to celebrate the progress women make in this country each and every day. President Obama highlighted the changes we've seen in the past century:

    When I look around this room, it is hard to believe that 100 years ago this month, thousands of women were marching right outside this house demanding one of our most fundamental right: the right to vote, to have a say in our democracy. And today, a century later, its rooms are full of accomplished women who have overcome discrimination, shattered glass ceilings, and become outstanding role models for all of our sons and daughters. And that means we've come a long way, and that’s thanks to the efforts of so many people like you.

    Because of the hard work and exemplary leadership of the women in this room, military families have protected family and medical leave. Women have legal recourse to fight against pay discrimination... Women have the opportunity to serve on the front lines of our military conflicts, and that means that they're getting paid and promoted equally. Women have the opportunity to make their own choices about their health.