U.S. Senator / U.S. Vice President
Kamala Harris is the first woman, as well as the first woman of Black and Indian heritage, to be vice president of the United States. Kamala Harris grew up in central California, the child of two immigrants: a father from Jamaica and a mother from India. She earned her undergraduate degree at Howard University (1986) and her law degree from Hastings College of Law (1989). During the 1990s, she worked as a prosecutor in Alameda County and in the San Francisco District Attorney's office. Harris was elected District Attorney of San Francisco in 2003 and re-elected in 2007. She was then elected as California's Attorney General in 2010 and again in 2014. Harris was a high-profile District Attorney and Attorney General, making headlines for refusing to push the death penalty and for ignoring the popular vote on a referendum to ban gay marriage. She also earned a reputation as a tough prosecutor and reformer. She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, taking over for Democrat Barbara Boxer, who retired. She announced her candidacy for U.S. president on January 21, 2019. She ended her campaign on December 3, 2019, saying in part that she could not raise the millions of dollars needed to continue. Eight months later, Joe Biden
picked her as his vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket. They ran against Republican incumbents Donald Trump
and Mike Pence
and defeated them in the November general election. Harris and Biden took office on January 20, 2021.