Former senator of California Kamala Harris is making history today as the first woman and the first woman of colour to serve as vice president of the United States.
Kamal Harris is no doubt a woman of many firsts. Having spent a majority of her adult life serving in public offices, she has broken a number of high glass ceilings including being the first Indian American US senator when she was elected as the senator of California in 2017, and the first Asian American running mate on a major-party ticket.
US president-elect Joe Biden had settled on the idea to run alongside a woman long before Kamala Harris joined his team. Out of the dozen options Biden had, he settled on the Senator of California as a running mate, giving her a second shot at the presidency after she halted her presidential ambitions.
Here are some of the things to know about the United States vice president-elect:
- She is 56 years old
VP-elect Kamala Harris was born on 20th October 1964 in Oakland, California, United States.
She joined Biden’s team at 55 in a bid to impact the latter’s chances of winning last year’s elections, and the Biden-Harris ticket won.
- She is half Jamaican half Indian
Kamala’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was a biologist from Tamil Nadu, India. Her father, Donald J. Harris, a Stanford University professor emeritus of economics, is from Jamaica.
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- She has a younger sister
Kamala is the elder sister to Maya Lakshmi Harris, a lawyer and writer. In 2015, Maya Harris was one of the three senior policy advisors leading the policy agenda of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. She was the chairwoman of her sister Kamala Harris’ 2020 campaign.
- She is the first female vice president of United States of America
Upon inauguration later today, Kamala Harris will become the first vice president of the US, the highest-ranking female elected official in the history of the country.
She will also be the first African American and first Asian American vice president of the US.
- She studied, partly grew up in Canada
VP-elect Harris spent part of her childhood in Canada attending school in Montreal for five years as her mother taught at McGill University.
She later attended Howard University in the US – a prominent historical black colleges.
- She is an alumnus of University of California
After Howard, she joined University of California for her law degree before beginning her career in the District Attorney’s Office, Alameda County.
She rose the career ladder to become the District Attorney for San Francisco in 2004.
- She is the first black woman to serve as Attorney General of California
In 2011, she became the first woman and the first black person to serve as the Attorney General of California. She served in the position until 2017 when she joined the senate as US senator of California.
- She is an advocate of the minority
Harris has been at the forefront amplifying the voices of the minority. She was one of the leading sponsors of the recent legislation to curb police misconduct.
She is an outspoken advocate for amendments that seek to provide greater accountability for the police. When announcing her as his pick, Biden termed her a “fearless fighter for the little guy.”