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Who is Ashley Biden? Meet President-elect Joe Biden's daughter

The 39-year-old will be the next first daughter.
/ Source: TODAY

As President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office on Jan. 20, interest in his family has increased. The Biden family has been under the public eye for years as the longtime politician served in Congress as a senator for 36 years between 1973 and 2009 and then became vice president under the Obama administration from 2009-2017.

Now, the spotlight has only grown and through it all, the 78-year-old continues to maintain close ties with his immediate and extended family, including his children and grandchildren. Among them is Ashley Biden, the daughter of President-elect Biden and his second wife, Jill Biden.

Joseph R. Biden and his family at the inauguration of Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden
Joe Biden was sworn in to become vice president of the United States in 2009 as his wife, Jill Biden, and children Ashley, Hunter and Beau looked on.Scott J. Ferrell / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

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The Delaware native, 39, was born in 1981 and grew up with her half brothers Beau and Hunter Biden, who both survived a 1972 car crash that killed their mother, Neilia, and younger sister, Naomi.

In a 2018 interview with Delaware Today magazine, Biden described herself as an advocate and peacemaker. “I was always a mediator, and couldn’t stand someone getting made fun of or being bullied as a young girl,” she said.

“Often when I was 8 and 9 years old, I would talk to my dad when he came home from work about dolphins getting caught in tuna nets. I would come prepared with research and posters and talk about how we needed to save the dolphins,” Biden recalled. This effort, she said, eventually led to her father, then a Democratic senator of Delaware, to sponsor the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act of 1990, which established a dolphin-safe labeling system and a tuna tracking program.

Ashley Biden as a child with her father, Joe Biden
Ashley Biden shares a smile with her father in a photo from 1988.Bill Ballenberg / The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images

Biden went on to study cultural anthropology at Tulane University. After her undergraduate studies, she attended University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 2010 with a master of social work degree. She worked as a social worker in Washington, D.C., and in Delaware for the state’s child services department.

She became the executive director of the Delaware Center for Justice, a nonprofit advocacy organization, in 2014, according to The News Journal. After about five years, the center announced Biden's departure in March 2019. Biden said in a statement at the time that "working with DCJ has been one of the great honors of my life."

Ashley Biden and former Vice President Joe Biden at the Gilt x Livelihood Launch Event
At the 2020 DNC, Ashley Biden said her dad would make a "tough" yet "caring and principled" president.Gary Gershoff / WireImage / Getty Images

Aside from social work, the 39-year-old has also pursued fashion design and entrepreneurship. In 2017, she launched a clothing company called Livelihood and its first collection featured oversized, pullover and zip-up hoodies. Biden defined Livelihood as a “socially and ethically conscious apparel company” and said the hoodies were “inspired by and gives back to extraordinary everyday people” in a video for the University of Delaware. The company’s hoodie sales were donated to support community development, school funding and job-placement services in Delaware and Washington, D.C.

More recently, Biden teamed up with her half brother Hunter Biden to introduce their father at the Democratic National Convention in August 2020.

In an interview with TODAY on Tuesday, Biden told Jenna Bush Hager that even though she won't be taking on a job with her father's administration, she hopes to use her future platform as first daughter to "advocate for social justice, for mental health, to be involved in community development and revitalization ... to bring awareness and education to some topics, subjects that are really important."

President Joe Biden stands with his daughter Ashley Biden, his wife Jill Biden and son-in-law Howard Krien
Ashley Biden, Joe Biden, Jill Biden and Howard Krein stand next to an orchid hybrid plant named "Joe and Jill Biden" during a visit to the National Orchid Garden in Singapore on July 26, 2013.AFP / Getty Images

In June 2012, Biden married Dr. Howard David Krein in a joint Jewish-Catholic ceremony, according to The News Journal. Krein is currently a chief medical officer at StartUp Health and an assistant professor of otolaryngology at Thomas Jefferson University. In an interview with The News Journal at the time, Biden's mother said the couple were introduced to each other by Biden’s oldest half brother, the late Beau Biden. She said Krein proposed about a year later at California's Big Sur and described Krein as “the perfect guy” and "perfect for Ashley."