Indian-American Kamala Harris on Wednesday won the election for Attorney-General of California. Ms. Harris will be the first woman to hold the office.
Daughter of an Indian mother and African-American father, Ms. Harris is the District Attorney for San Francisco. She will replace Democrat Jerry Brown who won the election for Governor of California on Tuesday.
Ms. Harris, who was the only Indian-American candidate publicly endorsed by President Barack Obama, defeated Steve Cooley of the Republican Party in a tough fight.
Born and raised in the East Bay, Ms. Harris was elected as the first woman District Attorney in San Francisco's history in December 2003, and as the first African-American woman and South Asian American woman in California to hold the office. She was re-elected for a second term in November 2007.
Ms. Harris is the daughter of Dr. Shyamala Gopalan, a breast cancer specialist from Tamil Nadu who travelled to the United States from Chennai to pursue her graduate studies at UC Berkeley.
After attending public schools, Ms. Harris' strong commitment to justice and public service led her to Howard University and then to the University of California and Hastings College of the Law.
She is the recipient of numerous awards.
California's largest legal newspaper, The Daily Journal, designated Ms. Harris as one of the top 75 women litigators in California — the only elected official to receive that honour — as well as one of the top 100 lawyers in the state.
She was recognised as a ‘Woman of Power' by the National Urban League and received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the National Black Prosecutors Association.
She has been featured on the Oprah show and in Newsweek as one of “America's 20 Most Powerful Women.” — PTI