Kamala Harris made history on August 11, 2020 as the first Black and Indian American woman to become the presumptive Democratic vice-presidential nominee.
Harris grew up in Berkeley, California with her younger sister, Maya Harris, as the child of immigrant parents. Her father immigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica to study economics and her mother immigrated from India to continue her studies as a was a breast cancer scientist.
After attending Howard University and graduating with an undergraduate degree in 1986 with a double-major Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and economics, she returned to California to attend law school at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1989.
Harris started her career fighting for working families as deputy district attorney in the Alameda County D.A.’s office in 1990. While there, she focused on putting away child sexual assault perpetrators. By 2003, she became the first Black woman elected as San Francisco’s District Attorney. In this position, she started a program to provide first-time drug offenders second chances with the opportunity to earn a high school degree and find a job.
After completing two-terms as San Francisco’s D.A., Harris was elected as the first Black person and the first Black woman to become the state of California’s Attorney General.
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In 2017, Harris was sworn in as a United States Senator for California, the second Black woman and first South Asian-American senator in U.S. history. She serves on several committees including Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on the Budget.
As a senator, Harris has continued to work on behalf of the people who elected her to represent their greatest needs. Whether it’s working to raise wages for working people, reform the failed criminal justice system, provide access to affordable healthcare to all Americans, or expand the possibility of childcare for working parents, Harris is on the case working to make these things a reality and hold accountable those who step in her way.
Harris is married to, Doug Emhoff, and is stepmother to two children.