The junior U.S. senator from California bills herself as tough, principled, and fearless.
And now, Kamala Harris is taking on what might be the biggest challenge of her life—winning the Democratic Party presidential nomination and defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
She announced her campaign over Twitter early this morning, promising to fight for "our American values".
Harris is inviting supporters to come to a major event on Sunday (January 27) in Oakland, California.
A former California attorney general, she took on Wall Street banks and won $20 billion for homeowners who were being treated unfairly following the global meltdown of 2008.
She also distinguished herself for her advocacy for consumers, suing for-profit colleges and reaching agreements with tech companies to protect people's privacy.
In her presidential campaign, Harris is refusing to accept corporate donations through political action committees.
The FiveThirtyEight.com senior writer Perry Bacon Jr. wrote a commentary this morning explaining why she has a bona fide chance of winning her party's nomination, based on demographics and her ideological disposition.
Harris, 54, was born in Oakland to a Jamaican father and Tamil Indian mother. If she becomes president, she'll be the first woman and the second person of colour to do this.
She was the second African-American woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
Harris has a Canadian connection. After her parents divorced, her mother moved to Montreal to work at Jewish General Hospital and teach at McGill University. Harris graduated from Westmount high school in Montreal before moving back to the United States to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.
She's the third woman in the U.S. Senate to announce her interest in becoming president.
Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand have each registered exploratory committees to seek the Democratic nomination.
Others in the race include former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, Maryland Congressman John Delaney, former West Virginia state senator Richard Ojeda, and Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.