Barack Obama became the forty-fourth president of the United States in January 2009, the first African-American to hold the office. He was re-elected to the presidency in November 2012. After graduating from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer in Chicago and became involved in Democratic politics. He taught at the University of Chicago Law School (1992-2004) before serving in the Illinois Senate (1997-2004) and as the U.S. Senator from Illinois (2004-2008). The domestic and foreign agenda of his presidency have been shaped by the global financial crisis, the healthcare reform debate, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His June 2009 speech in Cairo to the Muslim world is one of his best known international initiatives. During his two presidential campaigns, Obama spoke frequently of his personal Christian faith and of the importance of ethical and religious values in creating a more just society.
Remarks by the President on a New Beginning
June 4, 2009