Former US vice-president Joe Biden is set to begin a teaching post at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Democrat, who was vice-president for the entirety of Barack Obama's presidency, will be working as the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice professor, where he will lead the new Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. He will also be founding chair of the University of Delaware's Biden Institute.

"At Penn, I look forward to building on the work that has been a central pillar of my career in public office: promoting and protecting the post-WWII international order that keeps the United States safe and strong," Biden said.

"The Penn Biden Center and I will be engaging with Penn's wonderful students while partnering with its eminent faculty and global centers to convene world leaders, develop and advance smart policy, and impact the national debate about how America can continue to lead in the 21st Century."

Based in Washington at the new centre, Biden will also have an office at the University of Pennsylvania's Philadelphia campus.

In a statement about Biden's appointment, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann said: "Joe Biden is one of the greatest statesmen of our times.

"In his distinguished career of service to our nation, he has demonstrated a unique capacity to bring people together across divides and to craft constructive responses to some of the toughest and most important policy challenges of our day.

"His unsurpassed understanding of diplomacy and far-ranging grasp of world issues make him an ideal fit to further Penn's global engagement – including the work of Penn Global and Perry World House, signature initiatives to develop innovative interdisciplinary global strategies and programs that distinguish Penn as a global agenda setter in higher education."