Kamala Devi Harris ( (listen) KAH-mə-lə DAY-vee; born October 20, 1964) is an American politician and attorney who is the 49th vice president of the United States. She is the first female vice president and the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history, as well as the first African American and first Asian American vice president. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the attorney general of California from 2011 to 2017 and as a United States senator representing California from 2017 to 2021.
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 served as the junior United States senator from California from 2017 to 2021. 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 advocated for healthcare reform, federal de-scheduling 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 sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, but withdrew from the race prior to the primaries. Joe Biden selected her as his running mate and their ticket went on to defeat the incumbent president, Donald Trump, and vice president, Mike Pence, in the 2020 election. Harris became vice president upon being inaugurated on January 20, 2021 alongside President Joe Biden.