Jill Tracy Jacobs Biden was born on June 3, 1951, in Hammonton, New Jersey. Growing up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, she graduated from Upper Moreland High School in 1969. She attended the University of Delaware, receiving a bachelor’s degree in English in 1975. That same year, she met Senator Joseph R. Biden of Delaware. On June 17, 1977, they were married in New York City at the United Nations Chapel. She became the mother to his two sons, Joseph “Beau” III and Hunter, and in 1981 their daughter, Ashley, was born.
In 1976, Jill Biden began teaching at St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington, and later Claymont High School. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she pursued a Master of Education from West Chester University. She later taught at Rockford Center, a psychiatric hospital in Delaware, while working toward a Master of Arts in English from Villanova University. In 1993, she took a position at Delaware Technical Community College. She earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in educational leadership from the University of Delaware in 2007.
During her husband’s vice-presidency, Dr. Biden taught at Northern Virginia Community College. As Second Lady of the United States, she advocated for military families, community colleges, and educational opportunities for women and girls. In 2015, Dr. Biden and then-Vice President Joe Biden lost their son Beau to brain cancer. Together, they pushed for a pledge to cure cancer through the White House Cancer Moonshot.
After leaving office in 2017, the Bidens established the Biden Foundation and launched the Biden Cancer Initiative. In 2019, Dr. Biden’s memoir, Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself, became a New York Times bestselling book. The following year, she published JOEY: The Story of Joe Biden, her second children’s book.
As First Lady of the United States, Dr. Biden continues to advocate for military families, cancer research, and education for young women. She is a professor of writing at Northern Virginia Community College.
Read a full biography of Dr. Biden on whitehouse.gov.
Mary C. Brennan
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mary C. Brennan earned a Ph.D. from Miami University of Ohio in 1988. Her dissertation on the development of conservatism in modern America was a natural outgrowth of her interest in how politics affects "normal" people. Over the years, she continued to investigate conservative politics in its various manifestations. Turning Right in the Sixties (UNC Press, 1995) evolved from her dissertation and examined the conservative "capture" of the GOP through the Goldwater campaign. Since then, she has focused on women's roles within conservatism in general and the anticommunist movement in particular. Her book, Wives, Mothers, and the Red Menace, (Colorado 2008) evolved from her curiosity about Joe McCarthy’s wife. Her most recent monograph, Pat Nixon: Embattled First Lady, (2011) appeared as part of the Modern First Ladies Series published by the University Press of Kansas. She has appeared on CNN’s “The Sixties” and C-SPAN’s “First Ladies: Influence and Image.” In 1990, Brennan joined the History faculty at what was then Southwest Texas State University and is now Texas State University. In 2011, she became chair of the department of history. Since Fall 2017, she has served as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
Christopher Brick is Director, Editor, and Principal Investigator of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, a research center that collects, annotates, and publishes selected volumes of Eleanor Roosevelt’s political correspondence from 1945-1962. His publications include Volumes 1 and 2 of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers: The Human Rights Years, both of which he co-edited. As chair of Marketing and Communications for the Organization of American Historians (OAH), Brick conceived, founded, and hosts the OAH podcast Intervals, season 1 of which launched in March 2021. Brick also directs federal policy oversight for the Association for Documentary Editing, serves as a board member of the National Coalition for History, and is the recipient of multiple major research awards from the National Archives, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Sylvia M. Burwell
Sylvia M. Burwell is American University's 15th president and the first woman to serve as president. A visionary leader with experience in the public and private sectors, President Burwell brings to American University a commitment to education and research, the ability to manage large and complex organizations, and experience helping to advance solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. Burwell joined AU on June 1, 2017, succeeding Neil Kerwin.
Burwell has held two cabinet positions in the United States government. She served as the 22nd secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services from 2014 to 2017. During her tenure, she managed a trillion-dollar department that includes the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and the Medicaid and Medicare programs; oversaw the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act; and led the department’s responses to the Ebola and Zika outbreaks. Before that, she served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget, working with Congress to negotiate a two-year budget deal following the 2013 government shutdown. In both roles she was known as a leader who worked successfully across the aisle and focused on delivering results for the American people.
Her additional government experience is extensive and includes roles as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, deputy chief of staff to the president, chief of staff to the secretary of the Treasury, and special assistant to the director of the National Economic Council.
Burwell has held leadership positions at two of the largest foundations in the world. She served 11 years at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including roles as the chief operating officer and president of the Global Development Program. She then served as president of the Walmart Foundation and ran its global Women’s Economic Empowerment efforts. Her private sector experience includes service on the Board of Directors of MetLife.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.
A second-generation Greek American, Burwell is a native of Hinton, West Virginia. She and her husband Stephen Burwell are the parents of two young children.
Diana B. Carlin
Diana B. Carlin is professor emerita of communication at Saint Louis University where she also served as associate provost for graduate and global education. Prior to her tenure at Saint Louis, she was a professor of communication studies and dean of the graduate school and international programs at the University of Kansas. She has taught courses on first ladies for over thirty years and has written book chapters on Lady Bird Johnson, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama. Her most recent publication is on Martha Washington in Kate Sibley's Southern First Ladies. She lectures to a wide variety of groups on the legacy of first ladies and regularly teaches Osher Lifelong Learning courses on first ladies, including a recent one on The Generals' Wives: Martha Washington, Julia Grant, and Mamie Eisenhower. She co-authored with Nancy Kegan Smith and Anita McBride an opinion piece published by CNN on first ladies and civil rights. They also presented a program for the National Archives on March 31 on the subject. Her interest in first ladies grew out of her work on women in politics when she realized that the country’s first women “politicians” were the first ladies.
Stacy A. Cordery
Historian Stacy A. Cordery is the author of four books, including the New York Times bestselling biography Alice: Alice Roosevelt Longworth, from White House Princess to Washington Power Broker. The recipient of several teaching awards, she is a professor in the History Department at Iowa State University in Ames, where she teaches courses on First Ladies, the Gilded Age, and modern America. She was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Theodore Roosevelt Center and is a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Association’s Advisory Board. Her public appearances include NPR’s Weekend Edition, the History Channel, CNN, Smithsonian TV, the Diane Rehm Show, and C-SPAN. In addition to her biography of Longworth, Cordery has written the authoritative biography of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low and two books about Theodore Roosevelt. Her biography of cosmetics entrepreneur and CEO Elizabeth Arden will be published by Viking/Penguin in 2022. For more information, please see www.stacycordery.com.
Dr. Sara Georgini earned her doctorate in history from Boston University in 2016. For over a decade, she has worked for the Adams Papers editorial project at the Massachusetts Historical Society, where she is series editor for The Papers of John Adams. Committed to the preservation of and access to rare primary sources, Sara has worked on the selection, annotation, indexing, and team production of a more than a dozen scholarly editions drawn from the Adams Papers (Harvard Univ. Press, 2009– ), covering the history of American political life in the era from the Declaration to disunion. As a historical editor, she publishes authoritative editions of the founders' words; leads student and teacher workshops; curates manuscripts and artifacts in thematic exhibits; and brings Adams expertise (spanning three centuries) to the broad audiences of groups like National History Day. Thanks to the Historical Society's trove of Adams and Jefferson manuscripts, she teaches frequently on constitutionalism, founding-era thought, women's history, and the course of Anglo-American empire. Sara is the author of Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family (Oxford Univ. Press, 2019), and she writes about early American history for Smithsonian.
Cassandra Good serves as an Assistant Professor of History at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. She was formerly the Associate Editor of the Papers of James Monroe at the University of Mary Washington. She received her PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in American Studies from The George Washington University. Her area of expertise is late eighteenth through nineteenth century America with particular focus on politics, gender and cultural history. She also has experience in museums, new media, and public history through her work at the Smithsonian Institution.
Her first book, Founding Friendships, is available from Oxford University Press. It received the Organization of American Historians’ Mary Jurich Nickliss Prize in U.S. women’s and/or gender history in 2016. Good is currently working on a book titled First Family: George Washington’s Heirs and the Making of America, forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2023. She writes for both scholarly and popular audiences, and has published work in the journals Gender History and Early American Studies, as well as online publications including Smithsonian Magazine, The Atlantic, and Slate.
Amy S. Greenberg
Amy S. Greenberg is the George Winfree Professor of American History and Women's Studies at Penn State University, where she has taught since receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1995. She is the author of five books, most recently the award-winning Lady First: The World of First Lady Sarah Polk (Random House/Vintage, 2019). A leading scholar of the history of nineteenth-century America, she has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Philosophical Society, among others, and is currently the president of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
Since 2019, Katherine Malone-France has served as the Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In this capacity, she leads the organization’s programmatic work in preservation services, government relations, state and local policy, research, outreach, trainings, grantmaking, and the stewardship and interpretation of the National Trust’s portfolio of 28 historic sites.
Throughout her almost 20 years in the for-profit and non-profit sectors of historic preservation, Katherine has made a concerted effort to work across the field, bringing the ability to understand preservation issues from a variety of perspectives and to move initiatives forward in ways that are both creative and strategic. Prior to this role, Katherine served as the Senior Vice President for Historic Sites, where she collaborated with a variety of staff and stakeholders to make National Trust Historic Sites more culturally and financially sustainable. This work has ranged from telling the full histories of these properties through creative and inclusive programming to implementing a new “shared use” operating model that combines commerce and interpretation to activate historic sites in new ways and attract broad audiences to them.
Katherine is a graduate of Wofford College with a B.A. degree in History and has a Masters in Historic Preservation from the College of Environment & Design at the University of Georgia.
Anita B. McBride
Anita B. McBride directs the First Ladies Initiative at the American University where she serves as Executive in Residence in the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies in the School of Public Affairs. Her White House service and experience spans three decades and four Administrations including as Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush. She is a frequent speaker and media commentator on White House history, its occupants, and presidential transitions. She serves on the Board of the White House Historical Association and chairs its Education committee.
Stewart D. McLaurin
Stewart D. McLaurin, as president of the White House Historical Association since 2014, leads the Association’s non-profit and non-partisan mission to support conservation and preservation at the White House with non-government funding.
Under his leadership, the Association has expanded greatly in mission reach and impact; fundraising results; educational public programming and award-winning publications that teach the story of White House history; and related retail offerings inspired by history.
For more than 35 years, McLaurin has held leadership roles with national non-profit and higher education organizations such as the American Red Cross, Georgetown University, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.
Barbara A. Perry
Barbara A. Perry is the Gerald L. Baliles Professor and Director of Presidential Studies at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, where she co-directs the Presidential Oral History Program. She has authored or edited 16 books, including 43: Inside the Presidency of George W. Bush; 42: Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton; 41: Inside the Presidency of George H.W. Bush; Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch; Jacqueline Kennedy: First Lady of the New Frontier; and JFK and ER: How John Kennedy and Eleanor Roosevelt Found Common Ground and Launched a Women's Rights Movement (forthcoming).
Lois Romano has had a distinguished career as a political journalist at The Washington Post, Newsweek and POLITICO. Most recently, she helped build both POLITICO and The Washington Post's conference businesses. Her contacts in politics, journalism and business are extensive. She is currently authoring An Inconvenient Widow, a biography of Mary Todd Lincoln, for Simon & Schuster. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and a former fellow of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.
Frederick J. Ryan, Jr.
Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. is the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Washington Post. Previously he was co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of POLITICO.
From 1989 until 1995, he served as Chief of Staff to former President Ronald Reagan. He was responsible for overseeing all of President Reagan’s activities including domestic and international issues, government relations, political affairs and public relations. He served as President Reagan’s personal representative in numerous meetings with Heads of State around the world, as well as leaders of the international business community.
Mr. Ryan serves as Chairman of the White House Historical Association and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation. He serves on the Boards of several other nonprofit organizations including the University of Southern California, Ford’s Theatre, The National Geographic Society, National Geographic Partners, and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He is author of Wine in the White House, published by the White House Historical Association in 2020.
Marie Jenkins Schwartz
Historian Marie Jenkins Schwartz researches and writes about United States history, especially stories of women. She is the author of numerous essays and three books, including Ties That Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves. Awards for her work include two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Schwartz holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is currently professor emeritus of history at the University of Rhode Island, where in addition to teaching she served terms as chair of the University’s history department and as executive director of its Center for the Humanities.
Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw
Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw is the Class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Associate Professor in the Department of the History of Art at Penn and affiliated faculty in Latin American and Latino Studies, Cinema Studies, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. She received her Ph.D. in art history from Stanford University and then held an appointment as an assistant professor of History of Art and African and African American Studies at Harvard University for five years before coming to the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. She has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the National Portrait Gallery; has received a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Ford Foundation; and spent a quarter as a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Washington. At Penn, she has served as a faculty fellow and as a faculty director in the College House system; and directed the undergraduate majors in History of Art and in Visual Studies. She has been honored with the School of Arts and Sciences Award for Innovation in Teaching and the Ira H. Abrams Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Colleen J. Shogan
Colleen J. Shogan joined the Association in the winter of 2020 after almost fifteen years of federal government service. She previously worked in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. Colleen is the Vice Chair of the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission and teaches at Georgetown University in the Government Department. She is the previous President of the National Capital Area Political Science Association and served on the American Political Science Association (APSA) Council, the governing body of the organization. Her research focuses on the American presidency, presidential rhetoric, women in politics, and Congress. A native of Pittsburgh, she holds a BA in Political Science from Boston College and a Ph.D. in American Politics from Yale University, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Order of the Cross and Crown.
Nancy Kegan Smith
Nancy Kegan Smith was an archivist at the National Archives and Records Administration from 1973 until 2012. She started her career at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, retiring as Director of the Presidential Materials Division in Washington, D.C. In this capacity she advised the White House, including the First Lady’s staff, on records and artifact issues. She is a co-editor of the book Modern First Ladies – Their Documentary Legacy, and has written scholarly articles and book chapters on First Ladies, Lady Bird Johnson, Michelle Obama and Presidential records. She currently lectures and writes on First Ladies and the important and lasting impacts they have made on our society.
Susan Swain is co-Chief Executive Officer and President of C-SPAN, the nation’s eighth largest cable television network. Since March 2012, she and Rob Kennedy have shared responsibility for day-to-day operations, board relationships, and longterm strategy for the nonprofit public affairs network, seen in about 80 million cable and satellite homes.
At C-SPAN, Susan oversees programming for C-SPAN’s three television channels, C-SPAN.org and C-SPAN Radio. She helped launch BookTV and American History TV–48 hour weekend blocks featuring non-fiction books and history, as well as the network’s traveling “Local Content Vehicles.” She has been involved in the creation of numerous C-SPAN history series, such as American Presidents, The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, American Writers, The Contenders, and First Ladies. On the marketing side, Susan oversees press and social media efforts for C-SPAN, the traveling C-SPAN Bus, and led the publication of C-SPAN’s ten books, including First Ladies (2015) and The Presidents (2019).
Julia Sweig is an award-winning author, scholar and entrepreneur. Julia’s ability to synthesize and communicate complex foreign policy and historical issues, achieving accessibility without sacrificing substance, has made her a popular primetime guest on CBS, CBSN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CNN, PBS, BBC, NPR, and even Comedy Central’s Colbert Report. Julia’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, the Nation, the National Interest and in Brazil’s Folha de São Paulo. She is a senior research fellow at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas- Austin and the creator, host and executive producer of the podcast series currently under development, In Plain Sight. Her fourth book, Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight comes out March 16, 2021 from Random House.
Karen Tumulty is a columnist for The Washington Post. In her previous role as a national political correspondent for the newspaper, she received the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. She joined The Post in 2010 from Time magazine, where she had held the same title. During her more than 15 years at Time, Tumulty wrote or co-wrote more than three dozen cover stories. She also held positions with Time as congressional correspondent and White House correspondent. Before joining Time in 1994, Tumulty spent 14 years at the Los Angeles Times, where she covered a wide variety of beats. During her time there, she reported on Congress, business, energy and economics from Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Tumulty is a native of San Antonio, where she began her career at the now-defunct San Antonio Light. Tumulty holds a bachelor's of journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Harvard Business School.