Barack Obama enjoys vacation, Joe Biden lands a new job

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obama vacation
US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama depart Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam upon the conclusion of their vacation on Oahu, Hawaii, US, January 1, 2017. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Former US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, took a vacation to the British Virgin Islands after eight years in the White House. Meanwhile, his vice president Joseph “Joe” Biden Jr has landed a new job which is to lead the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

On their getaway, the Obamas were hosted by Richard Branson, the chief executive of the Virgin Group. For Branson, it is a huge honour to be able to invite the former POTUS and FLOTUS down to the British Virgin Islands for a complete break.

Branson has shared that the former POTUS has spent two days familiarising himself with staying afloat and navigating the kite surfing. He said serious security measures are being followed. But Obama was able to relax and get into it.

“On his next visit, we plan to do the long kite over to Anegada together,” Branson wrote in a blog post. The Obama couple and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, have left the White House last month since new US President Donald Trump took over.

While his former boss was enjoying the waters, Biden has shared details of his post vice-presidency work. In a statement, the former US vice president said he will be engaging with Penn’s wonderful students, eminent faculty and global centres. Their aim is to convene world leaders and take part on the national debate about how America can continue to lead in the 21st Century.

University of Pennsylvania has also provided details of Biden’s new job. The university announced that he is going to lead a new effort focused principally on diplomacy, foreign policy and national security.

Biden will also be working for his alma mater, the University of Delaware. The university announced that it has appointed him as the founding chairman of the Biden Institute. Biden will be involved in a new research and policy centre aimed at development of public policy solutions regarding issues like economic reform, environmental sustainability and criminal justice. The research is also focused on civil rights, women’s rights and others.

Before his term ended, Obama awarded Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, the highest civilian honour. It was a surprise tribute, which drew the latter to tears at the White House. Biden has become the fourth person in US history to receive the award after Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.