American politician, attorney and 49th Vice President of the United States Kamala Devi Harris was born October 20th, 1964 in Oakland, California, as the daughter of a Tamil Indian biologist and a university professor of economics from British Jamaica. Having grown up in the Midwest, Harris returned to her natal state to study law at Howard University and then at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, from which she graduated in 1989. Harris was admitted to the California Bar in 1990 and was appointed as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California.
In 1998, Harris was hired as an assistant district attorney by Terence Hallinan, the San Francisco district attorney. Working in his office, she eventually became the chief of the Career Criminal Division. In 2000, Harris was employed at the San Francisco City Hall, under city attorney Louise Renne, where she ran the Family and Children’s Services Division. Harris was elected district attorney of San Francisco in 2003, serving for two terms (making it a total of seven years, from 2004 to 2011.)
Harris then ran for Attorney General of California for the Democratic Party in 2010 and won the general election, beginning her term in 2011 and going up for reelection in 2014, which she also won. While in office, Harris dealt with issues of consumer protection rights, privacy rights, public safety and environmental protection, and a reform of the criminal justice system. As her second term came to a close, Harris decided to run for a seat in the Senate for the State of California in 2016. She defeated her opponent, Loretta Sanchez, in the general election and became the second African American woman and the first South Asian American to serve in the United States Senate..
Kamala began her tenure in 2017 and during her time in office she tackled issues such as the healthcare and progressive tax system reforms, cannabis de-scheduling and immigration procedures, the DREAM Act, and the banning of assault weapons. Kamala openly opposed President Trump’s order to ban Muslim’s from entering the country for 90-days when it came into effect in 2017. Likewise, her questioning of Trump administration officials during Senate hearings brought her national attention and popularity. Harris was on the following committees during her tenure on the Senate: Budget, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Intelligence and Judiciary.
In the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, Harris announced her intention to run for the Presidency. She received an overwhelming amount of support and donation, and she rose in poll numbers. However, in 2019, she decided to withdraw and instead endorsed Joe Biden for president. The idea of a Biden-Harris ballot started to take shape, promoted by public and media alike, and Biden officially announced her as his running partner for the Vice Presidency in August 2020. The pair ended up winning the election and took office in January 2021. This position makes Kamala the United States’ first female vice president, the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history, and the first African-American and first Asian-American vice president.