Kamala Devi Harris (/ˈkɑːmələ/ KAH-mə-lə, born October 20, 1964) 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. Harris will be the first Indian American, the first African American, and the first female vice president in U.S. history, and thus, the highest-ranking female elected official in United States history. Harris is a multiracial American.
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.