Unveiling Kamala Harris, First Female, First Black United States’ Vice President

Kamala Devi Harris

By Our Report

Kamala Devi Harris was born October 20, 1964. She is  an American politician and attorney who is the vice president-elect of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, she is set to assume office on January 20, 2021, alongside President-elect Joe Biden, having defeated incumbent President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the 2020 presidential election. Harris has served as the junior United States senator from California since 2017. Being of both Indian Tamil and Afro-Jamaican ancestry, Harris is a multiracial American. Harris will be the first Asian-American, the first African-American, and the first female vice president in U.S. history. She will be the highest-ranking female elected official in United States history.

Born in Oakland, California, Harris graduated from Howard University and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, before being recruited to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and later the City Attorney of San Francisco’s office. In 2003, she was elected district attorney of San Francisco. She was elected Attorney General of California in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.

Harris defeated Loretta Sanchez in the 2016 Senate election to become the second African American woman and the first South Asian American to serve in the United States Senate. As a senator, she has advocated for healthcare reform, federal descheduling of cannabis, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, the DREAM Act, a ban on assault weapons, and progressive tax reform. She gained a national profile for her pointed questioning of Trump administration officials during Senate hearings, including Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault.

Harris ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination and attracted national attention before ending her campaign on December 3, 2019. She was announced as Biden’s running mate on August 11, 2020. On November 7, 2020, the race was called in favor of the Biden-Harris ticket. She will be the second Vice President of significant non-European ancestry, following Charles Curtis, who served from 1929 to 1933 alongside President Herbert Hoover.

Harris has made history by becoming the first female vice president-elect of the United States of America as well as the first black woman to occupy that office ever. Her historic win is considered a victory for women around the world as well as for people of colour. Harris ran with the Democratic candidate and the former U.S. vice president, Joe Biden, defeating incumbent President Donald Trump in what is viewed as the tightest race in US election history by clinching key votes in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

The 56-year old was elected to the U.S. Senate under the Democratic ticket in 2016 to represent California. With her Senate victory, Harris became the first Indian American to serve as a U.S. senator as well as the second African American woman to hold that position.

Before she became a senator, Harris was the attorney general of California from 2011 to 2017.

Her father was a Jamaican who taught at Stanford University while her mother was an Indian cancer researcher.

Harris studied political science and economics at Howard University and subsequently earned a law degree from Hastings College in 1989.

She worked as a deputy district attorney shortly after graduating from law school in 1990 in Oakland, earning a reputation for toughness as she prosecuted cases of gang violence, drug trafficking, and sexual abuse.

Harris rose through the ranks, becoming district attorney in 2004.

In 2010, she was narrowly elected attorney general of California—winning by a margin of less than 1 per cent—thus becoming the first female and the first African American to hold the post.

She became a prominent figure within the Democratic party and was recruited to run for the U.S. Senate seat by Barbara Boxer who was retiring. She ran for office on key themes of immigration and criminal-justice reforms, increasing the minimum wage and protection of women’s reproductive rights.

As a senator, Harris served on both the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Judiciary Committee.

She continued to be vocal — for example about the death of George Floyd, an African American man who was killed by the police.

She married attorney Douglas Emhoff in 2014 and has two step kids.