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Biden Institute announced

Video by Paul Puglisi

Joe Biden, UD partner to launch Biden Domestic Policy Institute

Today, the University of Delaware announced a new partnership with Joseph R. Biden Jr., the 47th vice president of the United States, that will pair his long-time work in domestic policy issues with the University’s strengths in public policy education and research.

Biden will serve as the founding chair of UD’s Biden Institute, a new research and policy center focused on developing public policy solutions on issues ranging from economic reform and environmental sustainability to civil rights, criminal justice, women’s rights and more. The institute will also convene thought leaders on the most important issues of the day.

“We’re very excited about this new relationship with Joe Biden, one of our most distinguished and loyal alumni,” said University President Dennis Assanis. “His vast experience as a public servant for more than 40 years will bring an important focus to many domestic policy matters to enhance the broader portfolio of programs within our school of public policy. His insight and experience will lend invaluable enhancement to programming, education and research initiatives as the University of Delaware helps shape the future leaders of our society.” 

“Every day of my career in public service has been motivated by the desire to ensure that every American is treated with dignity and gets a fair shot,” said Biden. “I am happy to continue that work at my alma mater, a place that is stamped on my heart. I look forward to working with a top-notch policy staff at the Biden Institute to continue the hard work of developing public policy to benefit American families.”

The Biden Institute, which will be part of the University’s School of Public Policy and Administration, will initially be located at 44 Kent Way on the University campus in Newark, Delaware.

Assanis said the creation of the Biden Institute will be complemented by the addition of new faculty, increased enrollment in the school, and an initiative to expand the school’s offerings in the areas of smart cities, environment and energy, social justice, and disaster management.

UD School of Public Policy and Administration

With a distinguished faculty and a cadre of dedicated professionals, the School of Public Policy and Administration is a globally recognized, comprehensive school that translates scholarship and research into usable knowledge to inform decision-making and policy, improve leadership and management and address critical societal needs.

Top-ranked programs include city management, nonprofit management and public administration and management, and the school offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. More than 300 public, private and nonprofit institutions, locally and globally, use the research expertise and services of the school each year.

Vice President Biden

As a U.S. senator from Delaware for 36 years, Biden was a leading architect of domestic policy on some of the most pressing issues facing the country. Then-Sen. Biden served as chairman or ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 17 years, and was a preeminent voice on criminal justice issues, including authoring both the landmark 1994 Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act. Biden has worked relentlessly since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 to change the culture around domestic violence and sexual assault, and protect and strengthen victims’ rights.

As the 47th vice president of the United States, Biden oversaw the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was integral to rescuing the economy from the brink of another Great Depression. The Recovery Act added two million jobs to the economy and made an unprecedented investment in America’s infrastructure. According to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, under Vice President Biden’s oversight, more than $800 billion dollars were injected into the economy with less than two tenths of one percent waste, fraud or abuse – making it one of the most efficient government programs in history. 

As vice president, Biden also chaired the Middle-Class Task Force, an administration-wide effort to improve the everyday lives and livelihoods of working men and women, and oversaw the administration’s Skills Initiative to improve federal workforce training programs. He authored “Ready to Work: Job-Driven Training and American Opportunity,” a report to the president on how best to ensure American workers are trained for the jobs of the 21st century.

Biden also led the administration’s efforts to implement meaningful reforms to reduce gun violence in this country, which resulted in federal actions aimed at strengthening the background check system and addressing mental health issues linked to gun violence, among others.

In January, President Barack Obama awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with Distinction, the highest civilian honor in the U.S.

Biden is an alumnus of the University of Delaware, Class of 1965.

A special relationship

A frequent visitor to his alma mater, Biden has spoken at four UD Commencement ceremonies (in 1978, 1987, 2004 and 2014). Last December, he was a featured speaker at the inauguration ceremony for UD’s new president, Dennis Assanis. 

Biden donated his Senatorial papers to the University of Delaware Library in 2011, when he also delivered the inaugural James R. Soles Lecture on the Constitution and Citizenship. In 1984, he was inducted into the University’s Alumni Wall of Fame.

His wife, Jill Biden, earned her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from UD, and his sister Valerie is also a graduate.

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