Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden has picked Kamala Harris from California State as his running mate in the forthcoming 2020 elections.
The California Democrat was born in Oakland, California, to two immigrant parents: an Indian-born mother and Jamaican-born father.
After her parent’s divorce, Ms Harris was raised primarily by her Hindu single mother, a cancer researcher and civil rights activist.
She grew up engaged with her Indian heritage, joining her mother on visits to India, but Ms Harris has said that her mother adopted Oakland’s black culture, immersing her two daughters – Kamala and her younger sister Maya – within it.
“My mother understood very well that she was raising two black daughters,” she wrote in her autobiography The Truths We Hold. “She knew that her adopted homeland would see Maya and me as black girls and she was determined to make sure we would grow into confident, proud black women.
She went on to attend Howard University, one of the nation’s preeminent historically black colleges and universities, which she has described as among the most formative experiences of her life.
Ms Harris says she’s always been comfortable with her identity and simply describes herself as “an American”.
In 2019, she told the Washington Post that politicians should not have to fit into compartments because of their colour or background. “My point was: I am who I am. I’m good with it. You might need to figure it out, but I’m fine with it,” she said.
After four years at Howard, Ms Harris went on to earn her law degree at the University of California, Hastings, and began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
She became the district attorney – the top prosecutor – for San Francisco in 2003, before being elected the first woman and the first black person to serve as California’s attorney general, the top lawyer and law enforcement official in America’s most populous state.
In her nearly two terms in office as attorney general, Ms Harris gained a reputation as one of the Democratic party’s rising stars, using this momentum to propel her election as California’s junior US senator in 2017.
Since her election to the US Senate, the former prosecutor gained favour among progressives for her acerbic questioning of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Attorney General William Barr in key Senate hearings.
When she launched her candidacy for president to a crowd of more than 20,000 in Oakland, California, at the beginning of last year, her 2020 bid was met with initial enthusiasm. But the senator failed to articulate a clear rationale for her campaign, and gave muddled answers to questions in key policy areas like healthcare.
She was also unable to capitalise on the clear high point of her candidacy: debate performances that showed off her prosecutorial skills, often placing Mr Biden in the line of attack.
A California Democrat with a law enforcement resume, Ms Harris tried to walk the fine line between the progressive and moderate wings of her party, but ended up appealing to neither, ending her candidacy in December before the first Democratic contest in Iowa in early 2020.
In March, Ms Harris endorsed the former vice-president, saying she would do “everything in my power to help elect him the next President of the United States”.