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Kamala Harris
Senator Harris official senate portrait.jpg
United States Senator
from California
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Serving with Dianne Feinstein
Preceded by Barbara Boxer
32nd Attorney General of California
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2017
Governor Jerry Brown
Preceded by Jerry Brown
Succeeded by Xavier Becerra
27th District Attorney of San Francisco
In office
January 8, 2004 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Terence Hallinan
Succeeded by George Gascón
Personal details
Kamala Devi Harris

October 20, 1964 (1964-10-20) (age 55)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Douglas Emhoff (m. 2014)
Relatives Maya Harris (sister)
Education Howard University (BA)
University of California, Hastings (JD)
Website Senate website

Kamala Devi Harris (born October 20, 1964) is an American attorney and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from California since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the 32nd Attorney General of California from 2011 to 2017.

Born in Oakland, California, Harris is a graduate of Howard University and University of California, Hastings College of the Law. In the 1990s, Harris worked in the San Francisco District Attorney's Office and the City Attorney of San Francisco's office. In 2004, Harris was elected District Attorney of San Francisco.

Harris was elected California's Attorney General in 2010 and reelected in 2014. On November 8, 2016, she defeated Loretta Sanchez in the 2016 Senate election to succeed outgoing Senator Barbara Boxer, becoming California's third female U.S. Senator and the first of either Indian or Jamaican descent.

Kamala Harris has been considered a top contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination for President. She has publicly stated that she is "not ruling it out". On December 1, 2018, Harris stated that she would decide whether or not to run in the 2020 presidential election "over the holiday."

Early life and education

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Kamala Harris quote

Harris was born on October 20, 1964, in Oakland, California, to a Tamil mother and Jamaican father. Her mother emigrated from Madras in 1960. Her father, Donald Harris, was a Stanford University economics professor who emigrated from Jamaica in 1961 for graduate study in economics at University of California, Berkeley.

Her name, Kamala, comes from the Sanskrit word for lotus. Her family lived in Berkeley, California, where both of Harris' parents attended graduate school. Harris grew up going to both a black Baptist Church and a Hindu temple. She has one younger sister, Maya. They both sang in a Baptist choir.

Harris' parents divorced when she was 7, and her mother was granted custody of the children by court-ordered settlement. After the divorce, her mother moved with the children to Montreal, Québec, Canada, where Shyamala accepted a position doing research at Jewish General Hospital and teaching at McGill University.

After graduating from Montreal's Westmount High School in Quebec, Harris attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she majored in political science and economics. Harris returned to California, earning her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, in 1989. She was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1990.

Committee assignments

Kamala Harris - Caricature (25118715837)
Kamala Harris - Caricature
  • Committee on the Budget
  • Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management
  • Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management
  • Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Committee on the Judiciary
  • Subcommittee on the Constitution
  • Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts
  • Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law

Personal life

Kamala Harris signing the guest book at Yad Vashem with her husband, Doug24830055418 5323ea6526 h (cropped2)
Kamala Harris in 2017 signing the guestbook at Yad Vashem as her husband looks on

Harris is married to California attorney Douglas Emhoff, who was at one time partner-in-charge at Venable LLP's Los Angeles office. They married on August 22, 2014, in Santa Barbara, California. Harris's sister is Maya Harris, MSNBC political analyst, and her brother-in-law is Tony West, General Counsel of Uber and a former U.S. Justice Department senior official. Harris has two stepchildren, one in college and one in high school.

Images for kids

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