On Tuesday night, Kamala Harris became the second black woman elected to the United States Senate. Before her victory on Tuesday, Harris was the 32nd and current Attorney General of California since 2011. Prior to Harris, the only other black woman to serve as Senator was Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois who served one term from 1993 to 1999.
Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, and is the eldest of two daughters, born to an Indian mother and a Jamaican father. She has one younger sister, Maya Harris, an attorney and senior policy advisor for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“Kamala’s parents met at Berkeley where her Mom was a scientist, and her father was a professor of economics. She graduated from Howard University and University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, California, from 1990 to 1998. She served as Managing Attorney of the Career Criminal Unit in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, from 1998 to 2000, and as Chief of the Community and Neighborhood Division in the office of San Francisco City Attorney, from 2000 to 2003. In 2003, she was elected District Attorney of San Francisco, defeating incumbent Terence Hallinan. She was re-elected in 2007 and served from 2004 to 2011.
Harris was elected California’s Attorney General in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. Harris is the first female, the first African-American, the first Indian-American, and the first Asian-American attorney general in California. On November 8, 2016, she became the first Indian-American and second African American female to serve in the United States Senate, defeating Loretta Sanchez in the 2016 election to replace outgoing Democratic senator Barbara Boxer.