|Born||Robert Hunter Biden
February 4, 1970
Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.
|Alma mater||Georgetown University (B.A.)
Yale Law School (J.D.)
|Children||Naomi Biden (daughter)
Finnegan Biden (daughter)
Maisy Biden (daughter)
|Relatives||Joe Biden (father)
Neilia Biden (mother; deceased)
Jill Biden (step-mother)
Beau Biden (brother)
Naomi Biden (sister; deceased)
Ashley Biden (half-sister)
Robert Hunter Biden (born February 4, 1970) is the second son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and stepson of Second Lady of the United States Jill Biden. He is a partner at Rosemont Seneca Partners, LLC and is Counsel to Boies, Schiller, Flexner, LLP, a New York based-law firm. His appointment in 2014 to the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings has attracted controversy.
In late 2012, Biden was selected for limited-duty service in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Commissioned as an ensign in the public affairs branch in 2013, he was discharged less than one year later because of cocaine use.
Early life and education
Biden was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the youngest son of former U.S. Senator and current Vice President Joe Biden, and his first wife, Neilia Hunter. His mother and younger sister, Naomi Christina Biden, were killed in an automobile accident in 1972, in which he and his brother, Beau, were seriously injured. He and his brother encouraged his father to marry again, and Jill Jacobs became Hunter's and Beau's stepmother in 1977. His half-sister Ashley was born in 1981.
Biden received a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University; and a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School. After graduating from college Hunter Biden was a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, where he met his wife.
From 2001-2008, Biden was a founding partner of Oldaker, Biden, and Belair, LLP, a Washington DC-based law firm. He also served as a partner and board member of the mergers and acquisitions firm Eudora Global. Biden was chief executive officer, and later chairman, of the fund of hedge funds PARADIGM Global Advisors, founded in 1991 by Dr. James Park. At MBNA, a major US bank, Biden was employed as a senior vice president. Following that, Biden was appointed by Bill Clinton to serve in the United States Department of Commerce under Secretaries Norman Mineta and William M. Daley. He was director of ecommerce policy issues in the Department of Commerce.
In May 2013, Biden was selected as a direct commission officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, a program that allows civilians with no prior service to receive a limited duty officer's commission after attending a two-week class covering topics such as military history, etiquette, and drill and ceremony, in lieu of boot camp. Because Biden was past the cut-off age for the program he needed a waiver. Biden received a second waiver because of a past drug-related incident. One month after commissioning, Biden tested positive for cocaine use and was discharged from the Navy reserve in February 2014.
News of Biden's discharge was not made public and was not first reported until October 2014, after it was revealed to the Wall Street Journal by a Navy official who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity. In a statement released by his attorney, Biden later acknowledged his discharge. A staff editorial in Biden's hometown newspaper, the News Journal, following the incident described the process by which Biden came to receive the various waivers that allowed him initial entry into the Navy as "soft corruption."
On April 18, 2014, Burisma Holdings announced Biden's appointment to the board of directors in a press release. Burisma is the largest non-governmental gas producer in Ukraine, it was incorporated in 2006 and is based in Limassol, Cyprus - a European tax haven. Burisma holds licenses covering the Dnieper-Donets Basin, the Carpathian and Azov-Kuban basins and has considerable reserves and production capability. Burisma was founded by Mykola Zlochevsky, the former minister of energy minister and deputy national security council chair under Viktor Yanukovych, in 2006. Burisma Holdings is owned and controlled by the Ukrainian businessman Nikolay Zlochevskyi. Joining Hunter Biden on the Burisma Board of Directors is Aleksander Kwaśniewski, named in January. Kwaśniewski was President of the Republic of Poland from 1995 to 2005 during the G. W. Bush presidency. Chairman of Burisma is the Wall Street former Merrill Lynch investment banker Alan Apter. Finally, Burisma also at the same time named to the board Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s partner at the US investment firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, and a manager of the family wealth fund of Secretary of State John Kerry’s wife Theresa Heinz Kerry, widow of H. John Heinz III. Archer also sits on the board of the family’s Howard J. Heinz trust. So with these two board appointments in April, Burisma gained the son of the Vice President of the United States and the financial adviser to the family of the Secretary of State. In April 2014, Burisma Holdings appointed Vadym Pozharskyi -- who used to be a GEF Focal point in Ukraine as well as the Deputy Head of the State Environmental Investment Agency of Ukraine-- for a position of an Advisor to the Board of directors.
Hunter Biden's father Joe Biden traveled to Kiev on April 22, 2014 and urged the Ukraine government "... to reduce its dependence on Russia for supplies of natural gas." And he discussed how the United States could help provide technical expertise for expanding domestic production of natural gas. Some accuse the United States of maneuvering the Ukraine situation so that Western oil companies have unfettered access to shale gas (from "fracking") and to drill all across the Ukraine. With the revelations that Hunter Biden serves on the board of the Ukrainian company Burisma, many raised concerns about Hunter Biden's interests conflicting with official US government positions. The White House has dismissed nepotism charges against Biden's son. But the director of the US-Ukraine Business Council Morgan Williams pointed to an "American tradition that frowns on close family members of government working for organizations with business links to active politics". Williams stated Biden appears to have violated this unwritten principle: "... when you're trying to keep the political sector separate from the business sector, and reduce corruption, then it's not just about holding down corruption, it's also the appearance."
Biden also serves as a member of numerous boards. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the World Food Program USA. In addition to holding directorships on the Boards of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Truman National Security Project and the Center for National Policy, he sits on the Chairman’s Advisory Board for the National Democratic Institute (NDI). NDI is a project of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Biden is a member of the President’s Advisory board of the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington; and a member of the board of the Israel Idonije Foundation.
Biden is a former board member of several entities. On May 16, 2006, Biden was nominated by President George W. Bush to the board of directors of Amtrak. He was confirmed unanimously on July 26, 2006 by the United States Senate for a term of five years, and was the vice-chair of the board until January 29, 2009. Biden served as Honorary Co-Chair of the 2008 Obama-Biden Inaugural Committee and is a former board member of the CSIS Executive Council on Development and the National Prostate Cancer Coalition.
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- Biden’s Son, Polish Ex-President Quietly Sign On To Ukrainian Gas Company, Buzzfeed, 14 May 2014
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- Vice President Joe Biden's son joins Ukraine gas company, BBC News (14 May 2014)
- Another Biden Has Waded Into the Ukraine Crisis - The vice president's son has taken a new role in the country's energy industry, National Journal, 13 May 2014
- (Ukrainian) Former President of Poland also has a position in the oil and gas holding deputy Kliuiev, Ukrayinska Pravda (14 May 2014)
- Biden's Son, Kerry Family Friend Join Ukrainian Gas Producer's Board - Ukraine's Burisma Holdings Is Controlled by Former Energy Official Under Yanukovych, The Wall Street Journal, 14 May 2014
- Biden Offers Strong Support to Ukraine and Issues a Sharp Rebuke to Russia, The New York Times, 22. April 2014
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- Hunter Biden’s new job at a Ukrainian gas company is a problem for U.S. soft power, The Washington Post, 14 May 2014
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- "Amtrak Board Names Thomas Carper of Illinois as Chairman; Former Chairman Donna McLean becomes Vice Chairman" (Press release). Amtrak. January 30, 2009. Retrieved February 23, 2009.