Kamala Harris is an American politician, lawyer and the current Attorney General of California. She is a member of the Democratic Party and the 32nd Attorney General of California and she has been in this post since 2011. From 1990 to 1998, she worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, California and later from 1998 to 2000 she served as the Chief of the Community and Neighborhood Division in the San Francisco City Attorney’s office. She is the first female, first African-American, first Indian-American and the first Asian-American attorney general in California. On 8th November 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.
Harris was born in California's East Bay. She is the daughter of a Tamil mother, Dr. Shyamala Harris, a breast cancer specialist who came to the United States from India in 1960 to study at the University of California at Berkeley, and a Jamaican American father, a Stanford University economics professor. Her parents divorced when Harris was a toddler; Dr. Shymala Harris raised her two daughters to embrace their African-American heritage amid Civil Rights era strife. Harris attended public schools through high school and then went on to pursue an undergraduate degree at Howard University in 1986, one of the nation's oldest historically black institutions of higher education.Harris later earned her law degree at UC Hastings College of Law, which she parlayed into a position in the Alameda County District Attorney's office. In 1990, she was promoted to Deputy Attorney for Alameda County. During her eight-year tenure as deputy she specialized in prosecuting cases involving child sexual assault and other violent crimes.She then became Managing Attorney for the Career Criminal Unit in the Office of San Francisco District Attorney. Louise Renne, City Attorney for San Francisco, hired Harris in 2000 as Chief of the Community and Neighborhood Division, overseeing civil code enforcement matters. Harris has served on a number of boards and committees, including the National Attorneys Association, California's Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Committee, the Democratic National Convention's Platform committee, the American Bar Association's Criminal Justice section and California's District Attorney's Association.In January 2015, Kamala Harris announced her bid for U.S. senate. If she wins a seat, she would be only the second woman of African or Asian descent to hold such a position. Both Carol Moseley Braun (D-Illinois) and MazieHirono (D-Hawaii) predated her. Braun was elected in 1993 and served until 1999, and Hirono was elected in 2013 and continues to serve.She is the first female, first African-American, first Indian-American and the first Asian-American attorney general in California. On 8th November 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.
In her political career, Harris has also been in many controversies. The San Francisco District Attorney's Office found itself under fire in early 2010 when it came to light that Deborah Madden, a drug lab technician for the city police, confessed to removing cocaine from evidence samples. Her admission resulted in the police lab's testing unit closing and pending drug cases being dismissed. The police department also had to investigate cases already prosecuted due to Madden's admission of evidence tampering.During the scandal, it was asserted that the District Attorney's Office knew of Madden's evidence tampering. However, it remains unclear what information the district attorney knew about Madden and when Harris learned of the tech's improprieties. The San Francisco Examiner has alleged that the District Attorney's Office knew of the situation months before the public was told of the controversy and before the police chief himself learned of the news.
While she was an Alameda County Deputy District Attorney in the 1990s, she dated Willie Brown, the Speaker of the California State Assembly. They broke up shortly after he was elected Mayor of San Francisco. On April 7, 2014, Harris announced that she was engaged to be married to California attorney Douglas Emhoff the partner-in-charge at Venable LLP’s Los Angeles office. They married on August 22, 2014 in Santa Barbara, California. For her entire political career, she has been a recipient of many awards and recognition. Harris won endorsements from California's political elite while campaigning for attorney general, including Sen. Diane Feinstein, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. On the national stage, Harris had the backing of former U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Leaders in law enforcement endorsed Harris also, including the then police chiefs of San Diego and San Francisco.Harris has also won numerous honors, including being named one of California's top 75 women litigators by legal paper the Daily Journal and a "Woman of Power" by the National Urban League. Additionally, the National Black Prosecutors Association gave Harris the Thurgood Marshall Award and the Aspen Institute chose her to serve as a Rodel Fellow. Lastly, the California District Attorneys Association elected her to its board.