In January, First Lady Jill Biden reportedly plans to keep her regular job as a college professor. Dr. Jill Biden is a college English professor with a doctorate in the subject, and she previously continued teaching during her husband's vice presidency from 2008 to 2016. Now that he will be President Joe Biden, Jill is going to keep that streak going.
Jill intends to live in the White House and fulfill the usual duties of a FLOTUS while still maintaining her class schedule as a professor, she first explained in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning in August. She will be the first First Lady in history to maintain a paying job while her husband serves as president, and historian Katherine Jellison told USA Today that Americans should not underestimate the significance of this move. "She will really be bringing the role of first lady into the 21st century," she said.
"Americans have historically wanted their first ladies to be in the White House and at the president's side whenever possible," Jellison continued. "Maybe the time has come when Americans will be more accepting of the idea that a president's wife can simultaneously be a first lady and a working professional."
Jill hinted that she might take an unconventional route as First Lady back in July of 2019, during an interview with Vogue. At the time, she said: "The beauty of [being FLOTUS] is that you can define it however you want. And that's what I did as second lady – I defined that role the way I wanted it to be. I would still work on all the same issues. Education would be right up there, and military families. I'd travel all over this country trying to get free community college."
Many Americans rightly interpreted this to mean that Jill would continue her current job as a college professor, and they were right. In August, she told CBS Sunday Morning: "I would love to. If we get to the White House, I'm going to continue to teach. I want people to value teachers and know their contributions and to lift up the profession."
Jill took a leave of absence from work this year to help her husband campaign, but she said that the support she provides him goes both ways. President-elect Biden himself often jokes that he's "Jill's husband," first and foremost.
The Bidens are expected to move into the White House after the inauguration on Jan. 21, 2021. However, so far, President Donald Trump has not conceded the 2020 presidential election, and he continues to lie about the election results. It is not yet clear how his refusal to concede will impact the transition process.