What Did Biden Do For $900,000 From China-Backed UPenn Think Tank?

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At a glance

  • Administrators of the University of Pennsylvania brought the former vice president aboard as a professor in the winter of 2017 to coincide with the “soft opening” of the 13,800-square-foot Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. Just under a year later, the think tank officially commenced operations with a stated aim of engaging “our fellow citizens in shaping this world, while ensuring the gains of global engagement are widely shared.” 
  • A 2018 report in the Daily Pennsylvanian student newspaper described the center as a forum for promotion of foreign policy to advance democracy abroad. The piece also noted Biden used the Constitution Avenue site as his main office while working in Washington. How much scholastic value Penn got for the institute and its figurehead’s presence at the school — the latter costing $900,000 in salary between 2017 and 2019 — is not entirely clear.

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